A review of Nigerian blogs on food by Pam of Pdbraide.
People generally feel the Nigerian “blogosphere” should mirror reality. After all people blogging about their experiences should simply create a Naija freed from geographical confines. Well, yes and no. For most it seems this virtual space offers freedom from social constructs, tedium and routine. In this virtual space you had better nourish yourself with insights, relationships and possibilities; as I found in course of researching for my review, unlike in the real Naija, there is precious little food. If you have mental snapshots of women endlessly and lovingly assembling huge repasts for the hungry, in this space where I believe women to be the majority, forget it.
I breezily chose a food theme because I felt it would be easy and I am currently obsessed with food due to temporary but severe restrictions placed on my range of edibles for medical reasons. So, what better way to torture myself than to trawl for food in blogs I can’t eat?
Back to business
Food enjoys many mentions in Nigerian blogs but I have discovered that very few people take time to write regularly about how and where to get or prepare it so I’m venturing beyond blogs. Nigerians far from home (especially students) are extremely fond of food reminiscing and whip out their cameras occasionally to capture and post their culinary attempts. At Verastically Livin’ a picture of “alive and not burnt” egusi soup pops up in the midst of her hilarious posts on everyday happenings. Ms O’s, Our Journey Long Distance, serves up rice, plantains and gizzards recently between her accounts of school, love and life in general while Backtonaija gives us a review of her dining experiences in Lagos after precisely 4.5 years of living in the US.
If you want to cook and are seeking recipes the mother lode has to be Online Nigeria. Recipes for Isiewu, efere otong, Ikokore, and other “insider” foods are available for all. Unexpected recipe finds include supercomputing genius Emeagwalis site. This site is a really vast resource on Nigerian culture. It was here I learned Joan Baez and Jimi Hendrix performed in a fund raiser for Biafra. Boomie O’s Motherland is another general site on Nigeria I love. Though visually outdated it is still very useful with a small recipe section.
For those aiming to lose weight, blogs like Chilli Peppa’s Disappearing Act provide insights to personal journeys and African Weight Loss Diva’s, information and a Q&A space. Hopefully low calorie ewedu and gbegiri will not taste as grim as they sound.
Now it’s time for the heavyweights of the Naija Food Blogosphere.
The only consistent blogging on food I found is done by Alhaji’s Groove aka “El Toro Negro”, Naija Blogging Chef and Yemisi Ogbe on Next. If writing at Farafina also qualifies as blogging then Yemisi’s Tea with Mrs Bojubari should be included in this non list.
Alhaji Babasheri is dead serious about food and obviously a professional. After viewing the luscious textures of the meals on his space, Iwaxed eloquently about him on my blog and immediately proposed to him as a sign of deep appreciation. I dare you to gaze upon thisEfo-riro and eba and remain unmoved.
Yemisi Obge has the most refreshing; I’m talking about food but not only talking about food, style that is humorous, unpretentious and sneakily competent. Though yet to forgive her cruel attack on baked beans I am nonetheless enthused that the attack was brilliantly written. Her essays on snails, garri and the dubious properties attributed to fish are conversational in tone and very entertaining.
So I ventured into this task hoping to present great foodie finds and return humbled and much intrigued by the paucity of food bloggers in the Naija blogosphere. Unsated by virtual food I clearly haven’t the energy to analyze why. Have a nice week and happy eating. I won’t hate.