One of my purposes in life is to Eat. My passion for food has deepened over the years. I savour food. I taste every single spice, herb, grain, pulse in a dish. I am a fast eater, but I enjoy it and I am passionate about it. I find people who aren't as passionate about food a bit annoying. My mistake, isn't food the fuel of life?.
My early experiences with continental dishes were traumatizing. Hence, I'd never look at fried rice the same way again. I grew up in a small town about 90 kilometers from the main city. I proudly admit that I had my first burger when I was 8 years old. It was Mr Biggs, on a trip to Lagos. The readily available snacks were cakes, chin-chin, meat-pies and pof-pof, but I wasn't content with that. I remember one of my trips where I walked through the souk savouring all the spices and herbs Northern Africa had to offer. One of the most colourful experiences of my life. Nostalgia* I was like a little kid in a candy store. From tumeric, paprika, cumin and coriander seeds. One of my favourite food shows in the world is Heston Blumenthals's 'In search of perfection' and owner of The fat Duck restaurant. He's made me fancy trying out a bit of my own kitchen science. Over the years I have developed an aesthetic palate for 'acquired tastes'. From fois gras to marmite, caviar to wasabi, smelly cheeses and teas from around the globe. A friend described me over the weekend 'Babe, there is a morbidly obese lady crying inside of you'. I took it in good faith, she meant well.
Someone made me smile today, she said "I have started having a deep appreciation for food. Thank you for your positive impact in my life". It was then i realized I was born to do this. To feed my passion (I know that sounds funny, but I love it). I am a proponent of traditional cooking styles. I can almost swear by it, but of course open to new techniques of cooking. I made a roast lamb over the weekend with slivers of garlic, mustard and Cameroon pepper...for some bizarre reason it was very tasty.
In the past in Abuja, while continental upscale restaurants have created annotated menus, I found Nigerian dishes quite elusive until recently- I must say I am quite impressed with the famous 'designer stew' and 'ofada' that has come to tantalize our taste buds and stay.
I have learnt a few tips over the years that I am willing to share about food.
1. If you are going to eat meat as a staple, at least have it medium rare if you can stand the redness. Its almost sinful to eat it well done.
2. When cooking with wine, if it isn't good for drinking, it isn't good for cooking.
3. You should try everything at least once. It wont kill you.