[Street food series, looking at foods that cut across the income divide, eaten by rich, and by poor]
In Nigeria, Agege bread – named after a Lagos mainland locality – is beloved. Cheap and sturdy with good shelf life, it’s hawked and eaten on the streets and at dining tables with a variety of things from beans to coleslaw.
Delicious as it is, it raises many questions – about standards and the mode of production (many bakeries run on old systems of semi-mechanised dough milling, putting bakers at risk of injury), dough content (reports of cancer-causing bromate though banned by the Nigerian food and drink authorities still remain) and the fact that the loaves are largely unlabeled and without nutritional information.
The processes are largely undocumented – the same for other aspects of Nigerian food culture which make it difficult to grow the body of knowledge, improve processes and create a better industry for all.