What is traditional Igbo Fufu cooked with? What agronomical culture is the most popular in Igbo? Read the information below to learn more facts about it.
Igbo, or as they are sometimes called – Ibo – are group of about 5.5 million people located in the southwest of Nigeria also known as Igboland. Igbo are the second-large group of Nigerians, but they have many subgroups with their own customs and culture. Nevertheless, they have one common language. Language of Igbo is a part of Niger-Congo family. There are several dialects. But besides this, Igbo food culture is also varied in all regions.
Igbo food traditions
In many cultures, there is a tradition to celebrate harvesting. Some people do it to show importance of their culture while others do it to honor gods for their plentiful generosity. Igbo of southwest Nigeria is one of such cultures. They make Yam festival every year to note the beginning of harvesting of their main food product, yam. In addition to common language, yam is the general crop and one of Igbo food customs, which supports people. It can be stored within six months without cooling, bringing big benefit as the geographical region has periods of shortage of the food. During this time, Igbo can keep yam to support their families.
Igbo economy also depends on production of sweet potato. Therefore, there is one more festival, on which people celebrate the harvesting period. This holiday is known as Iwa-Ji, depending on Igbo dialect. The festival takes place approximately at the beginning of August, at the end of rainy season. As the agrarian culture means a lot to Igbo, Iwa-Ji is a symbolical holiday to show the importance of yam in culture of Igbo. It is considered as the end of one cycle of work and the beginning of another. The festival is capable to show that there is an abundance of food. The yam for Igbo is the same as potatoes for many countries. Shortage of yam could represent a serious problem for Igbo. During a festival, the first yam is eaten by the oldest representatives of the tribe, in honor and recognitions of importance of yam and elders in community. These rituals also exist to honor gods for a good harvest.
Igbo food and drinks
Advantage in this Igbo food with yam is that it can be used as the main lunch course because of its universality. Yam can be fried on a grill, to smoke and to rub for use in a dessert. Despite universality, most often yam is cut on pieces and cooked. Igbo sometimes soften a boiled yam by means of mortar and pestle to make a paste. Besides, yam can be dried up on sun, and then crushed. Igbo do it to create the powder mixed with the boiling water. It helps them to cook Amala paste, which is used in ragout and sauces. The African plant has to be surely cooked as the crude yam contains substances, which can cause an illness. Also liquid from crude yam can cause irritation of face skin.
Igbo food names
Among Igbo food and recipes there is a lot of strange names. For example, Fufu – this is traditional mashed yams, which is eaten with sauce. There is also a soup with cocoyam. It is one of the most popular Igbo soups, which is called Ofe Onugbu. It is made of sweet leafs. Other popular food of Igbo is Okra soup. It is actually one of the simplest in preparation and the cheapest Nigerian soups. The portion of such soup costs only N250. It is often cooked with fresh fish.
Igbo food after colonization
Britain has affected on food of Ibo, that’s why Igbo food before colonization and after it differ a little. Many influences have happened during trade. At the British board, people of Ibo traded in many grain crops. Oil of palm tree was in a big harvest. It has been transferred to Europe to be processed into soap. The railroads and roads have been also constructed for faster transportation. But not only Igbo delivered food to Europe. Many grain crops have been also sent to people of Ibo at this time, as well as chili peppers, tomatoes and peanut. Tomatoes and chili peppers are widespread in Nigerian cuisine since then, and they are used in uncountable recipes. Spices, such as cinnamon, which is popular in their kitchen today, have been also brought.
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