Monday, August 06, 2012

Nigerian Foods- Weeks 3 and 4

As the internet has been super unreliable/nonexistent, I took a week off from the food happenings and will combine Weeks 3 and 4. As I was sick with malaria for much of week 3, I didn’t eat much in absolute terms, and also wasn’t feeling particularly adventurous. What I really wanted was some chicken noodle soup, but alas.

That weekend, however, I went to a 75th birthday party, where I had loads of delicious foods, including a massive plate of jollof rice, fried rice, chicken, and moin moin:

Suya (and really good suya at that!):

Shredded beef (kind of like beef jerky shredded up finely):

Puff puff (along with other stuff I didn’t eat because all I wanted was the puff puff…the small ones were mashed-up banana. Yum):

That birthday was also my first introduction to eating snails in Nigeria. I’ve had escargot at fancy French restaurants, but these are quite different. Everyone stared at me to see my reaction as I tried it, and while it was chewy, I thought it tasted just fine:

Other foods over the past few weeks include homemade chin chin, which is similar to puff puff in that it’s fried dough, but it’s just smaller and made to be crunchy:

I had my first indomie, which is noodles with hot peppers. You can buy this as a “Ramen noodle” type packet, in which the hot pepper is chili powder, but these peppers were fresh from the garden! I don’t know if it’s usually made with hard boiled egg, but I like the combo:

I also had my first amala and vegetable made by a grandma (which automatically = more amazing and delicious). “Vegetable” is the name for something similar to spinach that is often made into a soup (yes, there are other vegetables here, but name for this specific one is “vegetable”, don’t ask me why), and this one included delicious fish and beef. You’re probably seeing a pattern, but meals here often involve a lot of rice or swallow (= amala or other ‘paste’-like substance that you roll into a ball and use to sop up other foods) with a little bit of some kind of stew or soup and then a small piece of chicken or beef or fish (or 2 of the 3). I am proud to say that I eat my amala and soup like a Nigerian- with my hands:

Homemade fried rice, with chicken. This was my favorite fried rice thus far, because it was made fresh by a friend, didn’t use a ton of oil, and had shrimp and fresh green beans! Delicious, indeed:

My snack of the week is a delicious chip that has garlic, spicy pepper, and ginger in it. I have been eating one of the little bags most every day as my late-morning snack:

My American food of the week is pizza (yes, again). I did in fact eat it on a Friday, at a game night hosted by my new American friends (the only American family in the city and I met them! Woo!). Apparently there is a guy on campus who makes pizzas, and while they were thicker/breadier than I would usually prefer, they tasted so so good:

Yesterday I put on my jeans for the first time since my flight here (yes, it was cool enough to wear jeans! Shocking!), and they were a little bit tight. I expected that I would gain weight here since I’m not walking or exercising AND eating lots of carbs and fried foods, but if after one month it’s already noticeable, I’m in big trouble. But alas, there are worse things than to go to Nigeria and gain weight because of eating so much delicious food. :)

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