It’s time for me to leave Lagos, I came about a month and half ago and have enjoyed most of my time in the wild but charming, fascinating and charismatic City. Anyways so I decide (in addition to my friend Moyo’s suggestion) to visit some local joints, take pictures, eat the food and blog about it (ain’t I the best, bringing the ethnic tastes of Lagos into your homes).
So I had big dreams of scouring Lagos for its ethnic and roadside foods, you know (in Chi gurl’s Igbo accent) things like Agege bread with its attending margarine or mayonnaise; fried yam, sweet potato, plantain, akara, puff puff and buns; fried meats like chicken, turkey and pork etc. However because I fell ill and in addition to financial constraints, I couldn’t go the whole nine yards. I actually did what I could while feeling feverish.
Leaving the pity party behind, my inspiration for this food excursion came from two incidents. First was “The day of the golden red turkey”.
My bestie and I had had a long day as we had done both window shopping and job interviews in the same day (what a combo!). Incidentally we are both Vets who have passions outside Animal medicine, I in cooking and she in fashion design. But you know how it is when brokenness hits you hard and you abandon your dreams and look for someone to employ you. Anyway, the day didn’t turn out as I had hoped; the employers bursted out laughing when I told them what I wanted to be paid and said I wasn’t realistic. So on the long journey home, my friend who was a meat freak (her mum once caught her eating raw meat when she was a toddler) spotted some fried turkey by the roadside. Mon Dieu! these fried turkey wings were golden red, I know you’ve been told that fried foods should be golden brown but get this, these turkey wings had a golden red color and it was beautiful, like something on an Indian bride’s wedding gown! Thankfully I got a very good bargain because I spoke to the seller in his native tongue (Hausa). We then sat down at a bus stop to do justice to the wings. They were so tasty that we didn’t care who was looking. As we savored our treasure, passersby laughed at us; two fine chics, tugging on turkey bones, but did we care? No, instead we laughed back. It was a nice experience.
The second incident was when I went to Balogun market and saw this tempting road side joint. Picture this I was hustling through the market with my in-law and a market guide, when they unknowingly left me behind because I was ogling at food (smh). We had just come through a market aisle when my nose was greeted by umami smells. When we rounded the corner, we came upon a joint being catered by an ample woman (I don’t know why these Iya Bas women are abundant in size, lol). She was giving animated instructions to her girls to serve the customers. Little did I know that my companions had gone ahead of me while I slowed my pace and was lusting after the food (I was fasting and so couldn’t patronize, I could look but I couldn’t touch). Picture this, there was a gigantic bowl of properly stewed Jellof rice with carrot and green beans positioned seductively on top; juicy, thick diagonal slices of ripe plantain sizzling in hot oil; golden red fried chicken and turkey pieces; very red stew which exhibited a traffic jam of generous cuts of assorted meat and happy patrons joyfully eating away the stress of the day. Need I say more? I left there inspired and vowed there and then to go on a food excursion, camera in hand, hunger in my belly and with a smooth talking friend because I was shy of taking pictures alone.
To be continued…