By AR UPDATES
African salad popularly known as “Abacha” is among the delicacies widely eaten in Enugu.
Abacha is prepared both for home and commercial consumption.
“I eat Abacha everyday because I love it from childhood,” Anthony Okoye, a civil servant, said. “It is nutritious and delicious,” he added.
A nutritionist, Nkem Odo, said, “Well-prepared Abacha is balanced with all nutrients. We also emphasise hygiene during the preparations.”
Although Udi people are known to be associated with abacha, it is now widely consumed in all the communities in Enugu State.
“At events, such as weddings and burials, I’m contracted to prepare abacha for the entertainment of guests,” Cajetan Ozioko, an event manager, said.
“Abacha,” says Mike Nriji, “is better consumed with palm wine or chilled beer. It is better spiced with pepper, dried fish, ukpaka and tomatoes.”
Mrs Agada from Oho Agba in Isielu, Ebonyi State, sells abacha after the office of the Red Cross Society, opposite Ogbete Main market, Enugu.
She said, “I learnt how to prepare Abacha when I was a student. That time, whenever I want to go to school, a woman from Ezeagu who was residing around our area would plead with me to buy condiments she used to prepare Abacha.
“Anytime she prepared it, I watched her with keen interests. I was selling rice that time. At a point, I developed interest and started mine.
“Abacha is a simple business and gainful. With small money, you can start up.
“Abacha is prepared from fermented cassava, and garnished with red oil, white crayfish, maggi, ehuru, uzuza, ehu, and ngoo.
“Ngoo serves is to soften Abacha. I don’t put akanwa like others do. That is the reason it’s hard to have stomach upsets after eating my Abacha.”
Asked why people ‘rush’ her shop so much, especially people from Ogbete, she said that, “It is my professionalism and simple hygiene that draw people nearer to my shop.
“You can see between the hours of 1pm and 5pm, I have finished selling. The big and small patronise me.
“I do prepare for people that want to use it for occasions, like birthday, weddings, traditional marriages, and other social events.
“The business has lifted me in life. If not because my children preferred business to school, I’m ready to train them to university level with this Abacha business.
“We have branches at China Town at Old Artisan in Enugu. My first son manages there.”