Jonathan Foer once said,”Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.”
The food a group of people eat not only becomes a habit, it becomes a part of their culture. Nigeria is home to over 250 ethnic groups. Many of these ethnic groups have different foods, languages and other cultural practices. The melting pot that is Nigeria is bound to have a few brow raising items that are eaten as food.
The food items below are not for the fainthearted. Here are four unusual foods as eaten in Nigeria:
In southern Nigeria, winged termites are a delicacy. During the wet season, these big-winged termites are lured out of their holes with bright lights. They are caught, soaked in water to prevent flight and ultimately fried. This food is popular among the Yoruba and Igbo tribes. If you’re ever in southern Nigeria during the wet season, you might be offered this crunchy treat as a snack. Be sure to refuse politely. Alternatively, throw caution to the wind because this “insecty” goodness is delicious.
Who would eat man’s best friend? You’ve clearly never visited Cross River state in Southern Nigeria. Dog meat is a delicacy here and a very popular one too. Just be sure to discreetly ask about the meat you’re about to put in your mouth when in Calabar.
Oil Palm Weevil Larva
This is a popular food item in Bayelsa and Delta states in Southern Nigeria. The oil palm weevil is a pest of oil palm which is commonly found in southern Nigeria. But the weevil isn’t actually food, just it’s larva. Don’t be shocked by the amount of oil palm trees in the states that make up the Niger Delta, they have to get their oil palm weevil larva somewhere.
Many may consider snake meat a taboo. But all bets are off when it is in Southern Nigeria. The Igbos frown on the consumption of snake meat. But the Yorubas and the many ethnic groups that make up the Niger Delta consider snake a delicacy. Next time you’re in the region, be sure to try some snake suya.