Egg and Bread – a Ghanaian tradition?

27 Oct

Me, Mark, Robin egg and bread DSC01398

On the left, I am enjoying a breakfast of ‘Egg and Bread’ in Tamale with fellow EWBers Robin S and Mark S.  On the right is a picture of street vendors selling bread in Salaga.

‘Egg and Bread’ is a standard breakfast option all over Ghana.  Many mornings, I  stop and have Egg and Bread on the side of the road on my way to work in Kpandai.

It is exactly what it sounds like – fried eggs sandwiched in a bun, sometimes with onions and maybe even tomatoes fried in with the eggs.

Bread is sold everywhere in Ghana, both sweet bread with extra sugar and plain bread.  It is relatively cheap and abundant.

Where does the bread come from?  They grow a lot of stuff in Ghana (yams, cassava, rice, maize, soybeans, sorghum), but I don’t believe they grow wheat, which is the primary ingredient in bread. 

I assume the wheat is being sold or dumped in Ghana by developed countries and that the Ghanaian taste for bread is a hangover from colonial times….

Then again, I have read that Ghana only produces about half of the food it requires, so maybe food imports are necessary despite the huge number of people who work in agriculture here (56% of the workforce in Ghana versus 2% in Canada work directly in agriculture)…

Then again, maybe agriculture in Ghana would advance to the point where the country could feed itself if Ghanaian farmers didn’t have to compete with artificially cheap food from developed countries…

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter!  It would also be great if someone could do a bit of internet searching and let me know where my bread is actually coming from!

5 Responses to “Egg and Bread – a Ghanaian tradition?”

  1. Brian October 27, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Could it be made from cassava flour?

    • markwjabbott November 4, 2010 at 7:35 am #

      Thanks Everyone for you comments on this one!

      I asked a few people about using cassava flour. They had heard of thidea, but nobody knew of it being done around here. However, as luck would have it, I attended a Root & Tuber Program meeting eariler this week and on of the elements of the program is training groups to make bread using a mixt of wheat and cassava flour!

      Does anyone know if it is possle to use 100% cassava flour? Has anyone tastes cassava bread?


  2. Sean Irg October 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    My quick google and wikipedia learnings: It’s presence in Ghana has a long history. Wheat was brought in to balance and alleviate famine and hunger problems – created both civil/socially and by weather…. ie population growth, civil war and unrest, drought, etc. Who brought it there? Ghana’s government, philanthropist nations & groups, missionaries, etc. Wheat’s use was likely quickly developed and refined locally and it’s storage and durability properties likely made it quickly become a staple.

    As to why still? Same reason(s) as any other place.

  3. Jeff October 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    I never thought about bread in the context of trade policy over there. Really great point.

    As I’ve often mentioned before, Ghana is the poster-child of how the international economy is set up in a way that disadvantages the poorest states. Ghana can grow just about anything, and it even has gold and oil, yet it imports all sorts of things.

    They should be a net-exporter by a long shot. Have you tried those crispy peanut snacks they make there? They’re delicious and should be available worldwide!

  4. Mike H October 27, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Hey Boss! Quick search brought up Ghana Agro Food Company (GAFCO) as a potential source. Looks like they are a large purchaser of wheat as well as other raw materials, and do milling themselves. However they are located at Tema, which appears to be a fairly large port… possibly they buy the wheat and have it shipped over water?

    I’m loving these blog posts, keep them coming!

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