Sunday, July 18, 2010

Discovering Nigerian Cuisine: Abuja

It's been several weeks since I've had time to post. The final 2 weeks of June in Ghana were quite full doing research and preparing to travel to Nigeria to teach a technical writing and communications class. I wasn't quite sure what to expect here in Abuja, but the reality proved to be a huge learning experience for us all: over 70 students and lots of challenges with technology (power, computer access, etc.). The students took their final exam on Sat., July 17, and I'm now marking tests and reviewing each student's portfolio of writing exercises.

I'm also now more free to explore Nigerian cuisine. The cafeteria here at the university serves Nigerian food daily, and I've been enjoying quite a few Nigerian dishes--including seasonal fruit, moinmoin, akara, plus stews with egusi, okra, meat, fish and greens, along with fried yams, plantains, sweet potatoes, eba and jollof rice. However, to mark the end of my classes, yesterday we took a trip into town to the Abuja Hilton. The luncheon buffet was quite pricey, but I had the opportunity to speak with some of the chefs and tasted a variety of regional dishes. I'll be writing about them in the coming days.

13 comments:

Johanna in Munich said...

Hello Fran, I'm writing from Germany. A friend who is originally from Zambia told me about your blog. Very interesting and mouth-watering! I'm going to Cotonou in November, perhaps I can find some recipes to contribute. There's a delicious something called gari that you eat with soup, but you would have found that in Nigeria as well.
You have a new fan!
Johanna in Munich

Fran said...

Thank you for writing, Johanna, and for your encouraging words. Yes, we had gari at lunch today here in Abuja. I'd love to hear from you about you trip to Cotonou. BTW, do you know of any Zambians cookbooks? I'd love to find one for the Africa Cookbook collection.

Johanna in Munich said...

Hi Fran, this is fun! An immediate response! My Zambian friend follows your blog, so maybe you'll get a reply from her. Johanna

Olatunde said...

Really, the technical writing class was pretty challenging but the values added will remain indelible with us students. I recommend the next AUST intake (if more than 40) should rather be divided into two manageable classes; so you may have to come around twice. Pardon, I didn't touch-type this comment - I am staring at my keyboard! I still struggle with lesson 3, but I am continuing the training. Hope CPR is not compromised in this comment. - Mosobalaje, Olatunde (AUST, Abuja)

Fran said...

Olatunde, thank you for your kind words.I'm glad you felt like you got something out of the class. I also learned a lot from you students. As you know, I totally agree about the class size (plus I'd like another week to teach the course). And regarding CPR: yes, you were concise and precise. Only you know if you had to revise your comment. Please don't give up on the touch typing.

o.d.ezulike said...

Hello Fran, I admire the enthusiasm which you displayed during your lectures at AUST (even in a challenging situation). I am surprised you even made time to visit NICON Hilton. Although I am not a cook, I should like you to try out African Salad (Ibo variety) if you have not tasted it before. This is a popular traditional delicacy in Nigeria. - Ezulike Obinna

o.d.ezulike said...

I believe you would be leaving Nigeria soonest. However, I should like you to find time to visit some villages the next time you come around in order to have a first hand experience of some of our exquisite cuisine. Cafeterias and hotels would not cut it. - Ezulike Obinna (AUST)

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Ozoz said...

Hi Fran, wow - you've been in Nigeria. Superb. I'm a Nigerian, living in the Netherlands and love, love, love food.I have a blog and have int he last 6 months started showcasing more and more of Nigerian foods, with step-by-step photos. Great to see proponents of African cooking. Oz of kitchenbutterfly.com