The interesting part of the travel is to visit the cultural center of that city. This is where you get the insight of the place, their people, their art, their culture and their food.
During my travel to Lagos, I spend few hours at Terra Kulture center that focused on promoting Nigerian Art and Culture. There were beautiful paintings and artwork, mainly of bamboo works. I had even attended few classes of acrylic painting by a native, who taught me few brush strokes.
At Terra Kulture, we explored the art gallery, bookstore, theatre and finally came to rest at the restaurant. The winding staircase leading down to gallery had paintings on the walls. The wooden benches at the restaurant gave an artistic look and we decided to order the Pepe soup, the hottest that I had. I cried when I ate this soup, not because I was happy or sad but because it was incredibly spicy, intensely flavored and aromatic broth like soup made from the blend of native seeds and good amount of water with small cuts of chicken. The native seeds, like ulima, uda and calabash nutmeg, that are used in this soup, are really what bring this soup to life.
My cousin is the member of Ikoyi Club at Lagos, and that is where I tried Suya.
What makes Suya interesting is that meat is marinated with peanut paste, lime juice and spices, refrigerated overnight and then roasted on the charcoal.
I also tried charcoal grilled fish that was served with salad.
I had stayed in Lagos for more than two months, and in this long stay you begin to notice the local food habits of the people.
In Nigeria, Fufu is the national dish. It is not something that I could relish it but in Nigerian homes, if you haven’t eaten Fufu, you have not had dinner. It is served with a soup and eaten with the hands. It is dough of boiled cassava root (like a huge yam) and boiled plantain pounded in a large mortar. This is done everyday. It’s like their daily bread.
And oh yes, rice, how could I forget that? In Lagos they have Jellof Rice. I did learn that ‘must-have-ingredients’ for any Jellof rice includes rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, salt and red pepper. Then you can be creative in your choice of meat or veggies. In Lagos, they serve with salad and banana chips.
Food is exceptionally tasty in Lagos, be it Chinese or Lebanese or even Indian…its something to do with water, i think? or maybe it’s the chefs?…..I need to understand that…