Food and Local Cuisine of the people of Enugu

Enjoying Nigeria local cuisine is a must do for every visitor. Each state is well known for their particular traditional food which any visitor must not fail to enjoy and experience. This article is meant to be a food guide for travellers within Nigeria who intends to visit Enugu state.

Their native food is essential to Igbo culture. It aides in defining the Igbo people. Foods like Okpa, Abacha and Fufu is popularly consumed in this city. One needs to have a taste of these meals as a result of the fact that no journey is complete without experiencing the cuisine in the locations.

 

Firstly, Enugu people are best known for making 'Abacha' sometimes known by many Nigerians as African salad .This African dish is prepared with dry fish and many other local ingredients that make the food very tasty.

The meal is highly nutritious and widely prepared by other tribes, though very popular among the people of Enugu. With Enugu cuisine, you also find many varieties of food and soups as well as the local wines in which the most common is the palm wine.

The first thing that catches the eyes is a golden yellow colour interspersed with some green, brown and red colours not to mention the conspicuous position of the kpomo or fried fish or the smoked fish as it sits atop the mountain of food on the plate.

Abacha is usually very spicy and a balanced meal on its own. It is a meal which originated from Achi  in Enugu state were the women created a perforated metallic device that is tiny to enable them slice cassava into tiny bits. It can be consumed while it is wet or sundried for later use .

It is a meal many especially those from Enugu state see as an appetizer because it is taken while waiting for the main meal to be ready, yet to others, it is a main course. However, Abacha have different names depending on peoples' dialect. Though many people know it as Abacha and Nsisa, people of Awgu and Inyi call it Jigbo and Ncha  respectively.

It is a whole meal on its own as it contains all the major nutrients needed to nourish the body namely: carbohydrate, protein, fats and oil and vitamins. Just like humans, this meal has gone beyond the physical borders of its original state permeating all the States of the federation, gaining popularity and acceptance among other tribes. The intruigung thing is that, the once called local delicacy of a particular nationality is fast becoming a national staple going by the rate at which many now consume African Salad.

Morever, Okpa is a traditional Nigeria food very popular in Eastern part of Nigeria. Some believe it to be originated from Nsukka. It is made from Bambara flour and scientifically known as 'Vorandzeia Subterranean'. The flour can be made from scratch by grinding Bambara nut. The food which is also called ' The Lion's food or the King's meal' by the Igbos is rich in protein.

Among all the people of south east geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Enugu state enjoy Okpa more than any other people as they eat it during festivals as well as their normal daily table dish. These doesn't mean that the people are lacking in other foods, they have food in abundance such as cocoyam, yam, maize, rice, e.t.c. But there seems to be a special likeness for the consumption of Okpa.

It is ground pea which is a seed crop like groundnut. It leaves and that of groundnut look alike but there is a little difference. Okpa is eaten in different forms, when the seeds are still fresh from the ground, it could be boiled and eaten like groundnut. The boiled okpa is termed by some natives as Odudu while some people prefer to roast it and eat it like fried groundnut. The difference is that if roasted, it goes well with palm kernel while some prefer it with coconut.

Apart from cooking okpa for family consumption and for festivals, the delicacy is now a money earner. In every market of the coal city state, people sell Okpa.Also at virtually every bustop and corner of the street is a market for Okpa selling. Commuters at the motor parks buys them for meal instead of going to hotels and cafeteria to eat. Okpa is an easy food to prepare and it's insanely tasty.

People connect to their cultural or ethnic group through similar food patterns.These foods are sometimes used by people to retain their cultural identity. This they achieve through the ingredients, methods of preparation, preservation techniques, and types of food eaten.