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A TRIP TO IBOLAND

Food

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One traditional meal of the Ibos consists of a pasty ball (garri or pounded yam) and soup. But the Nigerian soup does not resemble European soup. What they call soup is more meat and vegetables than water, but a lot of pepper (pepperoni). Soup can be green or orange or of any other colour depending on its ingredients. It can contain beef, fish or snails. For eating, with your fingers you take a piece of the pasty ball of garri or pounded yam and make a smaller ball to dip into the soup. So far it doesn't sound difficult, but it is, take it from me. You need some practise to perform well. And you should not hesitate to lick your fingers while eating. Otherwise your fingers will be extremely sticky. After some trials I gave up eating with fingers and returned to using a fork.

Another meal is the traditional pepper soup. As the name already implies it includes a lot of pepper. It is made of goat meat, or cow tail and their intestines. The spicy water tastes well but I did not try the meaty parts.

When guests come to your house, they get offered kola nut which shows a sign of welcome and love to them. You should not refuse the kola nut. Before sharing the kola nut the host says a short prayer in Igbo. The kola nut just understands Igbo language only. Thereafter it goes around and everyone takes a piece, eat it or keep it in his pocket. Kola nut has a very bitter taste. The Ibos are saying that kola nut has a special meaning in every part of Nigeria. The Yorubas grow it, the Hausas eat it and the Ibos celebrate it.

Very tasty and fresh are fruits like pineapple, bananas, plantains or pawpaw. The pawpaw tree may be the fastest growing fruit tree in the world. After putting seeds into the ground you will enjoy the first harvest of fruits after less than 12 months. The pawpaw fruit is as big as a honey melon but with red pulp. Pawpaw has no characteristic taste like pineapple; it is just sweet and juicy.

My favourite meal in Nigeria was yam with sauce (stew). Yam is a big tuber which grows in the ground. It is prepared like potato and has a similar taste.

Surprisingly malt beer (called Malta or Maltina) is a very famous drink in Nigeria. It is quite expensive but it is produced by different brands and is very healthy. Also very famous is "Guinness Extra Stout" which is - like kola nut - extremely bitter. Much more tasty are the local lager beers like "Star" and "Gulder" or "Harp" by Guinness, which are offered in a 0.6l-bottle. Their taste is not worse than a good German beer. If you want to impress someone you can open your bottle without using an opener. You can use your water bottle, for instance, which should be by your side every time so that you can't get thirsty. The best is to drink only bottled water. And stay away from mayonnaise!


pawpawtree

Kolanut

market stand

fruits

snails

snails

snails

market stand

fingerfood

soup

Yam und Ananas