Gangina – The Afghan Way of Keeping Grapes Fresh For Up to Six Months

Gangina is a traditional means of keeping grapes and other fruits fresh for several months, by sealing them in air-tight containers made of wet soil.

Grapes are tricky to keep fresh for long periods of time, even when refrigeration is available, but apparently Afghans have long been using an ancient method of keeping the soft fruits fresh for consumption in the winter months, when fresh fruits are otherwise hard to come by. Called gangina, this ingenious conservation technique involves sealing healthy grapes in a saucer-like container made of two layers of wet soil. The container is left in the sun to dry and then has to be kept in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. If stored properly, gangina containers can keep grapes picked in autumn fresh until next year’s spring season.

“We should remove the broken grapes first, then put them in gangina. If we put the broken ones in gangina, it will spoil all other grapes,” farmer Abdul Manan said, adding that it is imperative that only healthy grapes be conserved this way, as a single spoiled grape can otherwise ruin a whole batch.


Gangina containers need to be air-tight and kept in a cool, dark place, to keep the fruits inside fresh. In winter or in spring, when the demand for fruits grows, and with it the price people are willing to pay, farmers like Abdul Manan bring out their stock of gangina-kept grapes and sell them for profit. Each container holds about a kilogram of grapes.


“We are keeping lots of grapes in Gangina and will sell it in coming winter or spring,” grape farmer Askar told the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture. “By this method we will get a good income.”


Speaking of ways to keep fruits fresh, did you know about this smart sticker that can keep fruits from spoiling for up to 14 days?

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