The Nigerian culture is clearly visible in its delicacies. Despite all the diversity, when it comes to street foods, there’s this peculiar unity that’s easily seen in the eating habits of it’s citizens.
How a snack, or delicacy becomes a general household dish for all Nigerians despite the diversity in cultural practices is still largely unknown. Although what we know are some of these foods that are common place among all Nigerians. Below are the top 10 street foods that you are sure to come across where ever you are in the country.
Top 10 Most Popular Street Foods in Nigeria
It is commonplace for us Nigerians to coin out wonderful names for things we love or make use of regularly, and totally forgetting the actual English or original name. Well for this list I’ll be making use of mostly the local names we give these foods.
The kind of food that I can say will put the ‘fast’ in fast-food, and still maintain its local originality while giving as much energy, and nutrients as you would need to get by the day. Best eaten with bread or ogi (akamu), or pap, the combo is mostly used for breakfast, but can also be used as supper. The English name is “Beans Cake”.
It doesn’t matter whether its English name is “Plantain Chips” – it’s always going to be Kpekere to me lol. This crunchy, and addictive snack can be eaten in just about anywhere – ideal for people looking for something to fill the stomach a little, but don’t want to eat stuff from bakeries or in sachets with an expiry date tag. It’s made from unripe or ripe plantain – hence the name…
Though it’s called different names like “Kala, Boflot, Mikate, Togbei”, its original name is actually Puff-Puff as given by the Sub-Saharan People in Africa. It’s quite hard to know that a fried dough can actually be this popular – but it is. Best eaten with soft drinks, its influence in the Nigerian feeding system is colossal as it’s now sold in almost anywhere, and even served as the mini course in ceremonies.
Well this one doesn’t need an introduction, it’s sold in just about any junction in the streets of naija. The barbequed meat is made from beef or chicken, sometimes it’s done with fish. Best taken with chilled water mostly because of its hot taste. It’s usually garnished with either onions, cucumber, or cabbage.
This is another street favourite – only blemish is that it has its season, so it’s not really available throughout the year. Whichever type you get (roasted or boiled), corn itself doesn’t ever disappoint, and it’s always satisfying. It’s sold in almost every junction connecting streets, and roads.
When talking about popular local foods, it is hard not to mention Boli (roasted plantain). Just like corn, it comes in its seasons, and usually sold in the same junctions as corn (sometimes by the same seller in the different seasons). Best eaten with groundnut, these roast foods can be very satisfying.
This is basically another way of preparing a nice meal with beans. Though the process of preparing this delicacy is quite long, and stressful, when done right, it’s always worth it. It’s always filling, and satisfying, little wonder why it’s used mainly as lunch, and taking with something light like ogi or pap.
Well back to the fries again – Nigerians love it. Fried yam (Dun dun) is really popular especially when in its season. Can either be cut in large pieces or little chips, either way, it’s deep fried, and best served with beans, sauce, or eaten alone.
This food also called African Salad, has soaked cassava (bobozi), palm oil, and vegetables as its key ingredients. It’s usually hawked around markets, and busy areas in the city. The food which originated from the east, has now become a regular dish for most tribes in Nigeria.
Hardly a junction in Nigeria where you won’t see a popcorn stand these days. This crunchy snack is basically eaten for fun (though it contains some nutrients), and usually accompanied with ice-cream. Also, if you’re looking for a movie snack, popcorn can be a really nice pick.