Tonnes of the highly solicited spice known for its medicinal value enter Douala through road.
Not all households use garlic as a spice in their dishes. Some don’t use because of the strong smell while others do not use because it is expensive. There is good news for the latter; the spice is now available not only in huge quantity but it is equally cheaper than before. The spice that tastes good in both traditional and contemporary dishes, comes in from Nigeria through road and are sold in local markets including the Douala Central Market in bags of 100 kilograms.
Since the spice coming from Nigeria is in season, a sac of 100 kg sells at between FCFA 75,000 and FCFA 80,000. According to a seller at the Central Market, Hamadou Mana, they make enough profit since they sell a kilogramme at FCFA 1,500 making a profit of over FCFA 60,000 per sac. The big glove of garlic from Nigeria, according to Hamadou, taste exactly like the small glove produced in the Northern regions of the Cameroon. Though the Nigerian Garlic inundates markets, the smaller glove from the North is still solicited by many. Aminatou Usmanu, a housewife in Douala says she prefers what is cultivated in her region of origin given its unique taste.
While homemade garlic is rare, that from Nigeria is at the doorstep of all, with just FCFA 100, a pot of soup is prepared. Lovers of the spice now put more than required in food because it is cheap. Some even prepare exclusive garlic soup which is eaten either with boiled rice or tubers of all sorts. Garlic, others say, is medicinal reason why some eat it raw and others suck in water before drinking. The spice will be in season till November when same 100 kg sac will be sold at about FCFA 150,000.