Nwaka with yams

“…next time we make some okro soup or cow foot and tripe wit’ somethin’ like gari. You like gari, Angel? Maybe some fufu. What do you think?”

What do I think? Well, I don’t know and I didn’t when he asked me. Having begun to explore the food of Africa in order to better understand the food of Diaspora has taken me places I’ve been pretty unhappy to go, but I’ve done it for the sake of my passion…my passion for food, that is. At the time of this question it was passion for a man that compelled me to further explore the tastes, smells, and ingredients of West Africa. A place that is as ingrained in my DNA as the smooth reddish tone of my grandfather’s skin and the lush, thickness of my grandmother’s hair. The funny thing is I never known any of them, but I feel them with me everyday .

So when He would ask me, as He often did, “What do you think?” I often didn’t know what to say, but usually I thought to my American self “cow foot…tripe…stockfish, dude, I will soooo pass.” I realized though that I had to get past the haunting memories of the great goat and mackerel incident and expand my cooking and eating repertoire to include fiery stew, egusi soup, and maybe even a little cow foot. Love is the greatest of motivators, isn’t it?

3 Responses to Eating & Cooking (& Loving) Nigerian

  1. The African cuisines themselves are absolutely worth exploring but love is such a great motivator for encouraging their exploration!

  2. Rachel says:

    Ain’t it the truth, Mariana? I guess it’s true for any cuisine though…I remember the first time I studied abroad in college, a professor telling my class at the university in Avignon, that we should all get boyfriends or girlfriends, because that was really the best way for us to learn the language!

  3. “Combine business with pleasure”, my ancient ancestors should say!

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