Food from different tribes and cultures can really get weird or even disgusting. As much as many parts of Nigeria has become civilized, there still remains those who aren’t quitting their savage food practices.
While you may be used to just chicken and fish, there are people in parts of Nigeria that quite adventurous with their meat. Here are 15 unconventional foods that Nigerians eat.
1. Cow brain
This African delicacy originated from North Africa’s Morocco and has spread across the world to be eaten at home and in restaurants. The brain of a cow used to prepare stew. It is a delicacy for some tribes. The brain of the cow is used to prepare a special stew known as “Kwanya” and it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. If you don’t have the guts, you are advised to stay away!
2. Grasscutter Faeces
Imagine consuming the droppings of a grass cutter or of any animal for that matter. The faeces of a grasscutter are used by some people to prepare soup. It is believed it makes the food smell good and it is also highly nutritive.
3. Dog meat
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While the rest of the world believes that dog is man’s best friend, some Nigerians, particularly Calabar and Ondo people see the animal as a delicacy. A dog is not necessarily meant to be a pet or guard the house, sometimes it is just a good source of protein.
Snakes are a big part of Nigerian food culture; they are often roasted or stewed to serve. Some people are not afraid of the cold-blooded slimy animal. Some people even say it tastes heavenly, especially when well seasoned and roasted. Apparently, snakes taste like fish. They are well-seasoned, roasted or fried.
Even though monkeys and apes are like second cousins to human beings, some Nigerians have no problem cutting up these species and making a bubbling pot of stew with them. Monkeys as meat are discouraged as they are said to be one way that the ebola virus is spread.
They are the swarming phase of certain species of short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae. It is just a bigger version of the grasshopper and is known to destroy crops and terrorize farmers. They can be cooked in many ways, fried, smoked or dried. It is best eaten fried with palm oil instead of vegetable oil.
Apparently, a lot of Nigerians enjoy bat meat. The winged mammals are a delicacy in certain places and you can even get some to buy on the expressway from those selling ‘bush meat’. They are also discouraged as they are speculated to be one form that the ebola virus is spread.
8. Winged termites
Termites, often known as “esusu” and “chinge”, are a common snack for some parts of Nigeria and are one of the weird things Nigerians eat. These insects come out en masse when the rains start and are fond of circling around any source of light that they see. Nigerians pack them, wash, salt and roast them inside a pot.
9. Palm weevil larvae
After harvesting palm wine from the palm tree, the tree is left to rot and later produces some kind of big worms popularly known as “Akokuno”. These worms are roasted and eaten as a delicacy.
Hunting grasshoppers is a favourite pastime for children in rural areas. They can be fried, boiled, salted, or sun-dried.
Crickets are another group of insects that children like to hunt for and take home to to fry or roast with pepper. According to Legit, crickets are low in fat and provide complete protein containing all nine of the essential amino acids.
Frog as meat isn’t common in this part of the world, but many do it. They are either fresh or dried and used as meat in stews and soups. They kind of taste like chicken.
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It is quite common for alligators to be killed for their skin and commercial purposes, but as crazy as it may sound, alligators are also killed for their meat. This is also very common in Asia.
Agama lizards were very popular during the civil war when there was little to eat. Now it is something that is eaten, not quite often and especially by children in rural areas who are adventurous. The lizard is roasted for its meat.
15. Mopane worms
Native to South Africa, mopane worms are large caterpillars which are considered as good source of protein. You can find the black worms in fried, dried or roasted state, being sold in local village markets in Nigeria. They can be eaten roasted or used in soups and stews.