From a typical Nigerian perspective this was inspired by my first write up on food being our unequivocal heritage with hopes that this inspires you to think differently about food today. The Nigerian cuisine is bound by three major religion and ethnic group. But, can be understood in-depth when viewed regionally.

Nigeria, a multinational state inhabited by over 250 ethnic groups with over 500 distinct languages. Nigeria is geographically located in West Africa considered to be the most populous country in Africa with over 200 million people. There is more to Nigeria than what the mainstream media portrays. There’s more to Nigerian cuisine than the food wars that happens intermittently online where poll is made on who makes the best Jollof rice amongst fellow African nations.

Our food speaks volume, speaks life, it speaks our language and we look like our food. Don’t we? The South, East, West and Northern part of Nigeria contribute and have a huge role they play in the food system. The relief, soil type, climate, ecology and vegetation make all these possible. Even if some claim these foods didn’t originate in Nigeria and they were introduced by the colonial masters / explorers. Some may even be more specific and say it was borrowed from country/continent like – Asia, China, Italy, United States, etc. Guess what? those dishes you might be thinking of or can make reference to have been localized.

Culture contact is inevitable as every culture tend to borrow from one another to survive. Every society clamour for survival hence, acculturation and enculturation will always be a channel for diffusion of cultural elements. Food is an aspect of culture that can’t be overlooked because it is a necessity for every human.

The world started from a place of the unknown gradually, the unknown is becoming clearer by the day as it is being deciphered by the knowledgeable. But note, having an encompassing food system obviously isn’t enough because, for it to be sustainable for generations yet unborn and for them to have something to make reference to — more work is needed. From documenting happenings around food, to making the world understand the science behind our cuisine — the anthropological point of view and history surrounding food needs to be told. Like I said in one of my recent captions (Story Telling when it comes to food can’t be more satisfying and properly told if the history and origin of each ingredient isn’t mentioned. And I must say when you use natural ingredient they tell and do the story telling themselves when used to cook decadent treats.)

Food connects us as a whole. Humanity in it’s entirety can’t do without food in fact it keeps the world going which clearly justifies the old quote that says ‘Food is life’ indeed it is with the diversity in culture and tradition from place to place food stands out. It is one industry that embraces what it means to be human

NB: This was first published on
September 08, 2020 on TD’s Kitchen Blog


Published by Temitopedancer

My name is ÌyanuOlúwa Fágbiyè Tèmítọ́pẹ́ (Pen name: temitopedancer) I am the founder and team lead at My Cookery Zone. I'm an Anthropologist, multimedia Journalist / broadcaster, food blo gger, and food writer.

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