African Cooking: Whats With the Maggi Cubes?

Maggi first made a protein powder soup from legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils, which were ground into a fine powder and mixed with hot water. In the early 20th century he made his first beef cubes; Today it is one of nine types of Maggi broth sold in six-packs in bright red and gold packaging.

It's not just about convenience. In many parts of West Africa (and beyond), Maggi cube for seasoning has become a popular part of the cuisine and is a cause for nostalgia in the diaspora. This is a class of "local ingredients" without which many dishes would not be the same. 

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Maggi's ability to penetrate kitchens around the world is something competing brands, especially Knorr, are wary of; Just a decade after Nestlé took over Maggi, Knorr began selling his cubes worldwide. The popularity of both brands becomes clear if you ask Nigerians who they like. 

The difference between Knorr and Maggi is not that obvious; for most chefs, this is simply a matter of preference. As for the Nigerian dishes, the Maggi cubes add a lot to the basics: salt, spice, undeniable flavour, its use as a resonating unit.

Maggi Cube is a popular flavour enhancer or broth found all over the world. Before the advent of witches, fermented carob beans were used in West African cuisine, called Iru in Nigeria and Dawadawa in Ghana. Maggi is a brand but has become an independent noun in many households.

Maggi can be offered in cubes, powders, sauces or packs. Maggie Cubes are an integral part of local cuisine. Turmeric, another ingredient in the Maggi Cube, and its powerful ingredient, curcumin, have a number of health benefits.

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