Nigerian Food.... Look Again!

Pounded Yam served with Fish in Stewed Spinach

Do you ever wonder why westerners (those from Europe and America) or people from other parts of the world for that matter, refer only to Moroccan food when they talk about African food or do you wonder why sub-continental African foods have up until now, not gained any recognition nor generated western interest as have Mexican, Chinese or Indian foods?

The African continent is huge and there is equally huge variation of cultures and as would be expected, culinary. Due to the impacts of colonisation and invasion of Africa, down to international trade and travel to Africa, cuisines from African countries have been noticeably influenced. For instance, Eastern and Southern African cuisines have Indian /European influences. So are cuisines from Northern Africa with lots of influences from the Middle East and Asia.

West African cuisines however remain the most authentic with the least influences noticeable. It can still be safely said that if anyone wants to experience the real African cuisine, West African cuisine promises to provide the most authentic and original African tastes and flavours.

African history points out that West African (including Nigeria) cooking has influenced culinary in other parts of the world! Some food from the West Indian islands and North and South America, show notable similarities to West African food, particularly those referred to today as Creole, Soul and Cajun.
The high levels of importation and exportation of local Nigerian food ingredients across continents is an indication that Nigerian food is gaining popularity around the world. This may be due, in part, to the increasing number of Nigerians living in Diaspora and an equally increasing number of foreign nationals taking up employment in Nigeria in light of the oil boom leading to inter-cultural exchanges. Culinary discovery of tastes and flavours is being made by many from Asia, Europe and the Americas who live and work in Nigeria.

Internationally, the perception of Nigerian foods, can’t lend justice to their actual tastes and goodness. Unless these marvellous and equally nutritious dishes have been sampled, their true place in comparison with cooking from around the world will not be rightfully established.

The most distinguishing factor of Nigerian cuisine is the carbohydrate rich ingredients used to prepare a main dish, served with a sauce, soup or stew containing a combination of fish, meat and an abundance of vegetables. While some may have concerns for diets with high levels of carbohydrates, it must be emphasized that carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet and eating them cannot be ruled out. With the in-depth understanding of the chemical components of the ingredients and the application of modern techniques to prepare them, moderate amounts of key ingredients can be used to provide nutritionally balanced dishes.
In a typical Nigerian dish, authentic spices, condiments and ingredients are used to create exotic aromas, tastes and flavours.

Discover more today using easy to follow methods and recipes and enjoy the delicious resulting dishes with the hope that your perceptions about West African and indeed Nigerian cuisine will change forever.

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