This morning, I went to one of the larger markets in Lagos state called oke odo which is in the Agege area (Yes I am aware this will make no sense). We got there around 6am. I have been to markets, but this was an experience unlike others. Mere walking in there are multitudes of people yelling “butter color”, “waso waso”, “pant and bra”, “fine boy”, “auntie with the bucket”, “stop avoiding me” , “no onions today”, “grind it here” and other chants in order to draw attention to their goods (BTW this is a loose translation from Yoruba to english). Let me use this as an opportunity to mention that it is quite effective.
To be honest, I only went to the market because of the whole culinary school, sourcing local ingredients, soaking in, and all that stuffs. I thought id go for going sake. I learned a few thing about the different kinds of spices and things. If you use a particular one your stew will be watery. If you use a particular one it will cook quickly. This particular vegetable will cause your stew to be spicy, this particular vegetable will cause your stew to be sweet and have a natural taste. This yam has a vanilla flavor. You know, the interesting part of this whole thing is none of these things are written down. They are all things people know and apply when they cook. To be honest, it was quite educating and I enjoyed it. I mean it is no Rungis but that is what we have here and things are farm fresh.
One thing that I did not like was how young children were selling things in the market. Girls and guys that were below the age of 18. I understand that things may be hard for them back home that may not give them and option but it just saddened me to think that those people could be me.
Here are a few pictures. I wanted to upload more but I couldn’t… le sigh.