Monday 1st October marked Nigerian Independence and also the start of Black History Month so, to celebrate, Love Walk held a popular Nigerian food tasting party.
The party was also inspired by the home’s recent book club reading of Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” which is written about traditional rural Igbo society and how colonialism was starting to have an impact on it. Reading the book, residents heard about, amongst other things, kola nuts and palm wine, which they were keen to put to the taste test!
Residents were able to try a variety of hot foods including pounded yam, egusi stew (made with crushed up melon seeds), okra soup, yam porridge, spicy red stew, plantain gizzard and jollof rice. We then tasted palm wine, a slow fermenting palm juice, which we decided tasted a bit like apple juice or weak cider, and various Nigerian snacks such as ‘chin chin’ (little crunchy biscuits) ‘puff puff’ (like small doughnuts) and plantain chips. One of our Nigerian staff members, Robert, then told us all about kola nuts – and we tried two different types – one is used during ceremonial occasions such as weddings or important meetings, where the breaking of kola nuts and sharing them is hugely significant; the other is used medicinally to help with sore throats. Our verdict - both were extremely bitter!
It was really interesting learning about all these different foods and also having the opportunity to taste a small slice of Nigeria.