By S. Olanrewaju Disu
An exotic agricultural product on sale in several daily markets in Lagos Metropolitan Area is the cabbage. Historically, the cabbage is of European origin. It is a leafy plant with a short stem and a dense lobular head of usually green or light green leaves.
Cabbage is scientifically known as "Brassica oleracea capitata", and it used as a vegetable. It is readily available all year round. There are some areas in Nigeria e.g. the Jos Plateau Area in the North and the Mambilla Plateau in the Southern part of the country whose climate and temperature are close to European climate and weather thereby encouraging the growth of exotic vegetables like cabbage. In addition, modern air cargo services encourage the importation of fresh agricultural products like cabbage and apples from places like South Africa and Europe into Nigeria on a regular basis.
Needless to reiterate, there are ready markets for cabbage in Lagos Area. In Addition to its general use as a vegetable, cabbage is used in the preparation of salads, coleslaw, soups and stew. It is also used in food dressing. Fast food restaurants use it as a filling for snacks. Furthermore, some indigenes use cabbage together with beef to make a local delicacy known as "shawama". Large and sophisticated hotels and restaurants as well as eat-outs sell cabbage based food frequently. Beef burgers, cheese burgers etc are items that are prepared with fresh cabbage, because of its firmness and crispness.
Nutritionally, cabbage contains essential vitamins and mineral. It is considered by experts to be good remedy for cold and flu. it is said to have anti-bacterial properties. Cabbage is also said to strengthen the immunological system. It is high in fiber content and helps control blood glucose levels and reduces cholesterol. Its high content of Vitamin C is said to help in figthing cold, sniffles and other infections. A wonderful vegetable indeed!
Cabbage on retail at the "Ejigbo Market"