On our visit with family in Nigeria almost three months ago, I brought back some of my favorite yummy Nigerian snacks, in addition to some very hot pepper because despite what you might have heard, “spicy” Spanish food is practically non existent. At least not in the way you think. You order something spicy and keep wondering where the heat is! . Alas, my stash of goodies have finally been consumed. I wanted to share with you some of my all time favorite and definitely yummy Nigerian snacks. Some look easy to make too, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try this at home. I haven’t written about food in a while, but l needed a break from apartment hunting. Feast your eyes on some savory treats.
Favorite Yummy Nigerian Snacks:
Coconut Balls (Shuku Shuku):
Without a doubt, this is my all time favorite snack. It’s made with coconut flakes, sugar and egg yolk. I have seen various recipes online. However, most don’t look like the one from the street vendor. I suspect there is honey in the mix somewhere. All l know is, it tastes absolutely delicious. I can never stop eating it when l go home.
This is again, without a doubt, my favorite snack :-). Yes, I know l just said that up above, but l can’t decide between the two. You know that my favorite food in the world is plantain (dodo), one of my nicknames growing up as l’ve said in an older post with my favorite Nigerian meals. This is plantain cut in slices and fried. It is then sprinkled with salt and sometimes pepper depending on which type you get. This reminds me of Tostones, the Puerto Rican snack as the plantain tends to be harder.
Boli is yet another spin on the lovely dodo. This is plantain that is roasted on an open fire till it’s charred on the outside. You can serve and eat it as is, or you can make boli-bopa. The plantain is sliced sideways and layered with peanuts. Trust me it’s good. I, however like it better dipped in olive oil, salt and pepper mixture. My mouth is watering as l type.
Yet another way to make use of ripe plantain. This is a specialty of the township of Ikire which is located in Osun State, home of the Sacred Grove. The ripe plantain is mashed and fried in palm oil as opposed to vegetable oil. It’s mixed with onions, pepper and salt. To retain the moistness, it needs to be put in a plastic bag as soon as possible. This brings back such fond memories for me. My uncle used to bring them to me and my cousin in boarding school as he would pass Ikire on the way to our high school. Absolutely delicious.
This is a delicacy that is shared with the Carribbean. Goes by the name of Jamaican beef patty among other things. It reminds me of a pot pie. It’s also made with chicken, but my preference is for the beef. It contains ground beef, onions, carrots, pepper and potatoes.
Mention Suya to a Nigerian and watch their face light up :-). This originated from Northern Nigeria. It is beef skewers coated with peanuts/ginger/onion and secret ingredients as the taste varies. My favorite kind is spicy (rubbed with pepper) and is almost always served wrapped in old newspapers. I’m not sure why, but boy.. is it delicious. For some reason though, it’s only sold at night.
This is straight up deep fried dough! Need l say more. I could eat a million of it in one seating. It’s that good :-).
Fan Ice Milk:
I know this is not food per say, but l love this drink. As a kid, you live to hear the words “Fan Ice Cream” from the uniform clad sellers on bicycles. This delicious drink is make from milk, sugar and crushed ice among other things. Fededrico loved the chocolate flavored one while l have always been partial to the vanilla one. It is so, so good. We had one everyday the whole time we were at home. The best part is trying to get the last drop out of this hard to tear container. You end up ripping it apart and licking the inside :-). Once we went out and took my mother’s carer with us. I insisted on buying her one after much cajoling on my part (it’s just not done). She was so grateful and the look on her face when she tasted it was priceless. All three of us were in the car making these sucking noises (you have to squeeze). We were kids together for a few minutes.
Not only is it a country, it is also a most excellent non-alcoholic drink chock full of vitamin B. It has a very strong taste and might be an acquired taste, but l love it. It contains barley, hops and water with a slight carbonation. It is also something shared with Caribbean as well as Asian countries. You can find this in most U.S grocery stores too. It has a lot of calories so l don’t drink it as much as l would love to. I remember my mother had to keep it under lock and key when l was young. Only my skinny sisters were allowed to drink it ;-) :-).
These are my all time favorite and yummy Nigerian snacks. There are plenty more, like Chin Chin which always reminds me of those crunchy snacks they give at a Chinese restaurant, only better :-).
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What are your favorite snacks? Have you ever heard or eaten any of these? How tasty do they sound and look?