New to Nigeria? Planning to try the local foods? Or just wondering what’s in season and good to eat? Here’s the low down on the the top 5 foods to try this season. I compiled this list based on seasonal availability, accessibility, price and how widely they are acceptance and how widely they are eaten by the different Nigerian ethnicities.
Plantain a shrub in the banana tree family mostly found in the tropical climates of Africa and Southern America is certainly one to try this season (if not every season!) Boiled, fried or roasted, this food can be paired with delicious sauces, eggs and even groundnuts. O! And don’t forget those plantain chips. Yum!
Pineapples are a great fruit choice this season, with one pineapple retailing for as low as N100, it’s not a stretch. Try cubing pineapples and freezing as dessert or as a healthy alternative to ice cream on a hot day.
Groundnuts or peanuts, whatever you may choose to call them, are tasty nutty treats which make them a healthier substitute to sugar-laden snacks. Now, you may be familiar with the roasted kind, but have you tried boiled groundnuts? Definitely has my must-try stamp of approval.
Yam, like plantain, is a very versatile food that also made my must-try list. This food which has been grown for decades in Nigeria also has a festival called the New Yam festival dedicated to it’s seasonal arrival. Many in these cultures believe that the arrival of new yam signals increased fertility in the land.
According to researchers, this indeed may be the case as some pharmaceutical companies produce hormonal pills said to boost estrogen production made with wild yam. Still doubting my sources? Remember when Samantha popped all those pills in Abu Dhabi in SATC (Sex and the City)?! Duh! Anyway, I guess it’s safe to say that this food is considered royalty when it comes to Nigerian culture. Yam can be enjoyed roasted, boiled, fried and pounded. Give it a try!
Zobo is a refreshing drink made from dried hibiscus leaves. The process of making zobo involve boiling the hibiscus leaves infused with natural sweetners and spices over a couple of hours, and allowing to cool before refrigerating and finally serving. Though this drink may leave your tongue stained purple (do not even bother about discretion when it comes to this one, it will definitely tell on you!), it is a natural local alternative to sodas and fizzy drinks without the added empty calories.
Did I miss out on any local foods that we all must try? Let me know in the comments!
Images – inner-gourmet.com, imgarcade.com, southpawgroup.com, nigerianfoodtv.com, fabilasfitness.blogspot.com.ng