Rich/Poor Food.

When I was in Nigeria and still a kid, I used to think my mom was not being nice by always having us eat traditional African/Nigerian meals like tuwo, garri, okra soup, egusi soup and all the “nasty” tasting stuff.

Rice and stew, jollof rice and spaghetti were “rich” folks’ food, or so I thought. I always felt like I was in heaven when we had those. I couldn’t understand why rice and stew was eaten mostly on Sunday afternoons.

One other meal I had no option but to eat was “gote,” a traditional berom meal. However, before I left Nigeria, it somehow became my favorite meal. I still didn’t like the the soups, and the tuwos and all that stuff.

It didn’t take three months after I left Nigeria to begin to miss all the “nasty” tasting stuff. Jollof rice became the only Nigerian meal I could have. My aunty used to make some delicious jollof rice. It felt like heaven whenever we had jollof rice.

Sometimes, my aunty would use the very few ingredients that sort of tasted like Nigerian ingredients and make us okra soup or peanut soup.

Some Nigerians had links to getting ingredients from wherever they got them. so, I only got to eat all the real Nigerian meal at Nigerian parties. But even then, all the men would have the best of the meal, then the women would have the best of what the men left behind, then the teenagers and children would have the rest… that thing used to get me really annoyed.

Things got better when a Nigerian friend of mine here would invite me to her house and cook me some eba and egusi soup and stock me up with some garri when I was leaving.

Things just got even better! My Ghanaian colleague went over the the United States Virgin Islands for a wedding, where she met a Nigerian lady who sells ingredients for Nigerian meals…. Bliss!

I’m typing this post with a bag of garri, pounded yam flour, egusi, crayfish, fufu powder and stock fish sitting on my desk. So tonight, I’m going to be getting my self some really good Nigerian meal. I can’t decide if I should even soak some garri at my desk for lunch or if I should just wait and have some egba tonight.

Life is good again. Goodbye rice, goodbye spaghetti, goodbye bye “rich man’s food.” I have me some “poor man’s food,” and I shall be alright.

No, you’re not welcome to my house for dinner!


7 thoughts on “Rich/Poor Food.

  1. Exactly the same experience here. Living in Ukraine during the first year of my life was like living in a desert with “hard-to-get” Oasis. Adaptation wasn’t that rapid and it was a time of bones for me. All I could eat was junks and some improvised meals which consisted of any of these: Rice, Potatoe and spagetti. I was looking horrible during this time and it was as if I would remain like that for the 6 years I plan spending here.

    But after the first summer of which a friend of mine brought almost 75 Kg of foodstuffs for me from Home, a huge and immensely significant U-turn occurred in my Life. Even now, there are some of those stuffs in eBay to buy. So, I totally understand how you feel when you get these traditional meals after a long time. No matter where we are, Home is the best. U can take a Nigerian away from Nigeria, but you can never take Nigeria away from him. Nice piece Vouvents. This is reminiscent of how I first started and honestly, there is no better way to express this.

    • Makama,
      I’m glad you’re no longer in that dessert… I’m aware of ordering food stuff from e-bay but I’ll be charged an arm and a leg to ship them down here.
      I know too well about improvising too….lol even though mine is done more with rice than anything.
      I’m glad you enjoyed reading.

  2. Looool..Vou i could feel your frustrations from this post :p
    right from the first time i left naija i packed my nigerian food stuff along.
    i still eat alot of rice and pasta,but when you have rice made with palm oil+dried fish its not just any rice again (vou thats for you to salivate :p) Lool
    on a serious note though,having our food stuff outside the country is GOLD.
    vou when your food stuff finish remind me to share mine with you via pictures..
    oh i brought a whole bunch of unriped plantain this time 😀

    • Thanks!
      Whenever I cook some again, I’ll let you know. I had some for dinner last last and I think that’s possibly the reason why I was an hour and a half late for gym this morning….haha

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