A skilled cook named Renee Chuks began experimenting with producing pasta from cassava in her Lagos kitchen in 2020, amid a coronavirus pandemic that caused Nigeria to go into lockdown. She produces hand-made pasta flavored with herbs using locally grown crops like cassava and plantain, which she now sells through her business, Aldente Africa, which she founded two years ago.
According to her, Aldente Africa was one of the first businesses to produce gluten-free pasta in Nigeria. Cassava, a root vegetable high in minerals and vitamin C, is one of the world's most produced countries, and according to Chuks, Africa should utilize more of its homegrown products to enhance food security on the continent. "We examined ourselves, such as the things we use every day and consume. A significant, major product of ours is cassava. So we thought, "Let's start with that, if we can achieve excellent success with cassava, everything else will follow," said Chuks, speaking to Reuters from the headquarters of her business in Lagos.
Additionally, she utilizes plantains and fonio, a tiny grain crop produced in West Africa, which she flavor-enhances with regional herbs and vegetables to give some of her pasta a pinkish or green hue. Her goods follow a global movement toward plant-based diets. They now cater to a rather rich clientele, offering complete with exquisite packaging and pricing from US$2-US$5 for each bag of pasta. Nigerians frequently consume wheat-based pasta, therefore Chuks believes there is a large demand for her substitute goods, which she sells online and in health stores. Her business also creates alcoholic wines using hibiscus flowers and culinary ingredients.
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