One of the best things about being Nigerian for me is the variety of food we have. I mean there’s the fact that we drip endless swag goo *Rick Ross grunt* but I”ll just pause on that for now. Nigerian delicacies are so many! With our different beautiful cultures and methods to even achieving the ones we have in common.
I’m not particularly a foodie but I love food a whole lot. Contradictory? Let me explain then. My love for food doesn’t only cover the finished part of it. From the raw produce to the condiments and aesthetic of sliced and chopped delights that make up the food. Then there’s the part where the aromas start to waft, from the point where it all comes together and you really understand how a person could ask themselves “Who birth right epp?”
Honestly though my excitement for food is more for the presentation and aromas than the actual eating. That doesn’t mean there aren’t meals I thoroughly enjoy or look forward to trying out. However I thing there’s a list of foods that you might have to go through or at least been halfway through to confirm your Nigerian palate ‘schweg’ test. Are you ready?
Nigerian Jollof rice
The almighty Jollof! Meanwhile notice how I put the ‘Nigerian’ there? Well, that’s just for clarity. Cos there have been rumors that there is a better Jollof out there. I want to tell you that this is the only Jollof we know and rate. I mean from parties to weddings to naming ceremonies to Christmas. Ain’t no Jollof like a Nigerian Jollof. You can dress it up or dress it down, whatever the occasion Nigerian Jollof is ready to go! 😀
Amala is basically flour from dried yam slices that is usually cooked to solid form and served with a variety of local soups.
I remember when I was way younger and used to think I was being punished anytime I had to eat amala. Fast forward some years down the line and I just want to apologize to my childhood self. I’m pretty sure she’d be shocked to see the adult version of herself trying to find the best amala joint in town. Sweating unashamedly and ordering extra ‘shaki’ to support the last lump. *sigh* Anyways Amala is definitely one of Nigeria’s popular foods even though there’s a debate whether that’s necessary. Verdict? I think it is and after this post I’ll try to convince my childhood self that pops up in judgement anytime I enjoy it. 😀
This is another Nigerian favorite It is also made from yam but boiled and pounded into solid form and served with a variety of soups as well. I honestly think there’s no Nigerian that hasn’t tried this as opposed to Amala.
I know a lot of people that have an issue eating beans cooked as porridge or with rice. Moimoi even though is made from beans is something you can’t pass up! Even by the same people who supposedly don’t like beans * sideeye*. Garnished in different ways with either liver, corned beef, fish, leaves or eggs. It is one of those things you can eat as a full meal or add as a garnish to another. It is light but filling still.
Here is one thing that holds a special place in my heart. Suya is actually kebab but Nigerian suya brethren is a thing of wonder. With the option of having it as beef, chicken or mutton (p.s. say “ram” when you want to order please). It is well spiced and you’re even given a little bit of the dry rub mix to take along your order. Is there really any Nigerian that hasn’t had suya? (seriously). This has to be my favorite street food.
‘Cassava flakes’; I will refer to it as this once just to give an idea what it is to someone who doesn’t know.
Garri is actually one of my favorite foods.It can be taken in two forms; as ‘eba’ which is a solid form of this flour made to be eaten with soup.
Then just soaked directly in cold water with or without sugar, milk, coconut and sometimes fish (this is the form I love). Garri is one of those foods you have in the house or in school that can be life savers on those rainy days.
Bole and Fish
During my service year in Calabar I used to follow a particular route on a road called “MCC”. Every time I passed this particular spot around 4 p.m. I would notice a crowd of people hanging around an empty local grill. One day I stopped by to see what it was and I started leaving the office by 3:45 p.m. This spot was a bole (roasted plantain) and fish spot and boy, was it great.
I had heard about it but I never took out the time to try it out. It can actually be found around, it’s a popular surprisingly healthy street food.
There are a ton of other foods I might not have mentioned but off the top of my head these are the ones that ring Nigerian most. So by this small test, how Nigerian are you? I think I’m 100% Naija.
Do you have any foods in mind to update this test? As always you could leave a comment below and let us know what you think…