Guest Post #1: A little one on Agege Bread
Search the web on how to make agege bread and you’ll see many interesting results, but most of them (if not all) probably don’t have it right.
Agege bread is the name of a locally baked bread, packed in transparent, clear nylon tied nearly at one end. Undeniably tasty and soft, it is easily the cheapest bread to buy in South West Nigeria. However, there have been some controversies concerning health & safety measures applied in making Agege bread. These suspicions are not unfounded as Agege bread is not labeled nor professionally packaged. It also does not have its ingredients listed and has not been approved by the appropriate food agencies in the country, unlike other well-branded loaves from established bakeries. Consumers are not certain of the ingredients in agege bread; and some don’t care. In an effort to know this, i searched the web on ‘how to make agege bread’ and preliminary findings I made have it that it has secret recipe you can only get directly from the local bakeries – that’s if they let it out. Smart or shady?
Besides its ingredients, the origin of agege bread is also not quite clear. Some stories say production started in the 70’s; others believe it’s called Agege bread because it originated from Agege, a suburb in Lagos.
So, how exactly did Agege bread wind its way into our lives? Alhaji Lateef Oguntoyinbo, National Vice Chairman AMBCN, and former chairperson of the Lagos State Chapter of the association who has been in the business of ’Agege Bread’ for over three decades gives an insight: “Baking unsliced bread actually started in Agege, though I can’t really trace it to a particular person because that was a long time ago. The first set of bakeries were set up here in Agege. As you can see, our association has been in existence since 1956, and that’s why we have the secretariat of our association here in Agege.”
Also, it is believed that the first set of bakers who came to Lagos settled at Agege, thus the name Agege Bread.
The secret in this renowned piece of loaf can hurt you, if health watchers are to be believed. According to them, it contains something ‘unhealthy’ and has little to no nutritional value. This is besides the rumours it is made with some cancerous food chemicals like bromate and saccharine.
So when next you eating a delicious meal and Agege bread with maybe Ewa Agoyin or peanut butter, if you are of “the Abroad” flavor, consider carefully if its delicious taste and feel renders health concerns untroubling for you. If yes, carry go abeg.