If you are what you eat, then Nigerians are spicy, heavy and cheap.
You can only stand in awe and watch as a Nigerian man unbuckles his belt, ready to engage in a battle between 4 wraps of eba, 2 pieces of meat in an exotic stew, and a 1 litre bottle of ice cold water. When the war is done, only the man is left standing.
A hungry man is an angry man; but when a Nigerian man is hungry, anger does little justice in conveying his true emotions. Small portions don’t exist in the Nigerian environment, and poverty is never a big enough hindrance. Servings of rice able to feed small countries are consumed on a daily basis by even the smallest of individuals.
Their entire diet consists of protein and carbohydrates, with heavy amounts of pepper and a variety of seasonings that add flavour to the life of every meal.
Nigerians are very organic, not because of an ethical stance against tinned or genetically modified food, but because natural food is far more readily available. In fact most are quite comfortable slaughtering their own cows and chickens in their back yard – trust me, it doesn’t get more natural than that.
The English are slightly less dramatic. You can’t really talk about food in England without mentioning the delicacy known as ‘the potato’. I don’t think I’ve ever come across another place that consistently eats the exact same thing in different ways.
I mean, they eat boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, chips, crochets, baked potatoes, jacket potatoes, sweet potatoes, chocolate potatoes! (Okay I made the last one up but you get the jist – they like potatoes). There was even a point in time when the potato was so highly valued it was exchanged for its weight in gold – a fact I conveniently learnt on English television.
Outside of potatoes, the English just want their food to be ‘fast’; that’s why the microwave has become the dearest of household appliances. Pre-cooked meals are a saving grace for a generation that needs a compass to find its way around the kitchen. In a sense English food has lost its place amongst a cosmopolitan of restaurants and eateries all fighting for room on the same plate.
Personally I can’t do without my Naija food; so make una join me come chop.