Taste Buds; A Blissful Seasoning Balance

FOOD IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR LIVES AND OUR TONGUES DECIDES WHAT STAYS IN THE KITCHEN AND WHAT GOES.

Source: Oyes Food

Source: Oyes Food

The world is changing with the millennium age and the Nigerian kitchen is definitely picking up the pace. This development is redefining the Nigerian kitchen. Enhancing it? Yes. Stripping off our culture? No. The blend of herbs, spices and seasoning is what retains the originality in our food. Any trend that poses to take that away fizzles out almost immediately after they have surfaced.

However, a few trends have stood the taste of time; let me run you through them very quickly.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

1. Rise of the measuring spoon

I remember stumbling on a measuring spoon at the mart and I thought to myself “What in the world could happen to my taste buds to make me buy these?” I have never used a measuring spoon while cooking and frankly, I don’t see myself doing so. An average Nigerian relies on their ancestral instincts to spice their food and not a measuring spoon. So, it is safe to say that my taste bud is my ultimate measuring spoon. Although many other ladies have gotten fancy in the kitchen using the measuring spoon but I can’t be bothered.

Source: Dooneys Kitchen

Source: Dooneys Kitchen

2. Tech cuisine

A known fact is that I’m a food lover, what you would normally call a foodie and I love my culture. To love our tradition –the African tradition –is to love swallow (solid food). I am a pounded yam and egusi soup lover. However, rather than almost pounding my arms out with a mortar and pestle, I would use a yam pounding machine or a food processor. Voila! I have my stress free fluffy pounded yam without compromising either the taste or the health of my arm. While my grandmother would rather blend pepper with a grinding stone, I would use an electric blender in a heartbeat. It hasn’t even crossed my mind to use a grinding stone. Why would I put my pretty little fingers through that much torture when I can stare at them and watch my blender do the work in seconds.

Source: Funke-Koleosho Blog

Source: Funke-Koleosho Blog

3. Jollof sushi

You would agree with me that it is almost impossible to be a Nigerian and not love Jollof rice. Couple of months back, Jollof Sushi surfaced. I was saddened by what had been done to our national food. By “our” I’m referring to my fellow Jollofarians - those who summersault and back flip at the sight of the deep red goodness especially if it was made with basmati rice; the rice that went to Harvard. Now, our national food was rolled into balls and had been sliced up. Although some welcomed this sushi trend, my fellow Jollofarians were against it.

It is fascinating that the way a Nigerian meal is prepared contributes to how it would taste. For instance, Moi - moi made in leaves tastes different from moi- moi made in nylon or in plastic bowls, homemade Jollof rice tastes totally different from firewood Jollof rice (party Jollof), Pounded yam is totally different from Poundo yam and so on. The difference doesn’t have anything to do with how it looks it is all in the taste; the taste is the difference!

Furthermore, some restaurants now plate with mini clay pots, use Aso oke (African fabric) for table cloth and so on. The idea is to integrate our culture as much as possible into our culinary lifestyle.

Well trends come and go but in the end, you decide what trends in your kitchen - your kitchen, your rules! As dictated by your taste buds.

Rise of the Green

WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR MOUTH IS ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO YOUR BODY.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

A friend of mine got ill once and she was complaining to me about the ailment. As she started highlighting the effects of the ailment she mentioned loss of appetite. Immediately, my doctor cap came on. I always advocate for people to ensure they eat something whenever they get sick even if they have to force the food down their throats as your body needs food to function optimally and the more you stay away from food, the more powerful the ailment becomes.

The paragraph you just read was just to buttress the importance of eating but here is what this article is truly about.

The other day, a colleague of mine asked me to totally cut out processed food from my diet and stay strictly organic if I wanted to lead a healthy and long life. I thought to myself, I do not have a farm so how in the world am I supposed to stay organic? A huge percentage of foods consumed in Africa are processed and not everyone gets to have access to organic meals as they ought but this is gradually changing.

Source: Unsplash

Source: Unsplash

Africa is beginning to see the rise of the green, as African consumers become the more health conscious and are going for organic meals. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of green product retailers, thereby enhancing the ease of access to the desired organic meals. The health benefits of green –vegetables –are tremendous. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals, low in cholesterol, boosts immune system, ensures strong bones and vitality, they enhance skin health, they prevent obesity and diseases and so much more. Processed foods on the other hand have been found to be harmful to the body over time.

Source: Nature

Source: Nature

What does this mean for many FMCGs?

It means that as 2019 is gradually ushered in, some FMCGs are sure to record a drop in sales as the movement against processed meals will heighten among consumers. However, if these companies could come up with communication strategies enlightening consumers about the health benefits of their products, then they are sure to stay in business otherwise they stand the risk of being phased out. Consumers across the content are strictly considering the health implications of what goes into their bodies.

Straight Outta Makoko; Fresh

SHARON CREATES THE WEBSITE THAT TAKES FRESH FISH STRAIGHT FROM THE SEA TO THE DINING TABLE.

Source: Makoko Fresh

Source: Makoko Fresh

One day, many years ago, I was passing through the third mainland bridge in Lagos, which by the way, is the longest bridge in West Africa. I lifted my eyes and looked, I saw a lot of buildings made out of wood and all other materials which I didn’t think could hold sitting on the water. I asked my friend whom I was traveling with, “do people leave there?” –pointing at Makoko. He answered saying an emphatic yes. Then he added by telling me that some of the smoked fish I enjoy in my favourite egusi soup comes from there. The name of the place is Makoko.

Makoko is also known as Africa’s largest floating slum. The men who live there are predominantly fishermen and the women are traders who sell the fish caught by the men –no brainer right? So what about the children, what do they do? Because if Children are the future and they are subjected to growing up around such conditions then they are more likely to replicate the past. Are there schools there, do they go to church, how do they have fun, do they receive phone and television signal reception? These questioned clouded mind. I’ve heard that there are many unspoken things that go on in this community but one thing that has put this place on the map again is a great feat achieved by Makoko’s very own Sharon.

Source: CNN

Source: CNN

Sharon is a 17 year old girl who grew up in Makoko and has gone on to build a website she called Makoko Fresh. This website helps connect her family’s products –the fish her father catches and mother sells –to potential customers as they have been subjected to being ripped off by middle men. This story started for Sharon when Girls Coding, a six-year-old initiative of Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin’s Pearl Africa Foundation came to the community. They educate and excite young girls about the usage of computer and that was where this young super hero learnt to build websites. Sharon hopes to study at Harvard University someday and grow up to become a software engineer.

This initiative has given young girls in that community the ability to dream and think of a better future. They now have the tools to compete among their peers. Makoko fresh is currently helping Sharon’s family make a lot more money and connects them to a wider range of customers.

Source: Konbini

Source: Konbini

Soon some basic HTML skills would be of necessity to secure jobs in Nigeria. TINK about it, a few years ago, a simple B.SC was good enough to take you to certain heights but right now, emphasis are being made on M.SC with good Microsoft office skills as an added advantage.

So whether you like it or not or choose to prepare for it or not, the future will still come and Sharon is heralding it.

Just TINKING.

Source: CNN

Source: CNN

Almost Every Nigerian Food Recipe You Need is on this App

THERE IS A NIGERIAN APP OFFERING USERS LOCAL AND INDIGENOUS FOOD RECIPES IN AN EASY, SIMPLE AND EXCITING WAY. CHECK IT OUT

via dobbyssignature 

via dobbyssignature 

So your Mom wants you to sit with her in Kitchen, the Kitchen is hot and as advised by the old saying “If you can’t take the heat in the Kitchen, you get out”, you stand and leave. But how then do you learn how to make those delicious indigenous soups like Mom?

Well an app is here to save you, the Nigerian Food Recipes app. Yep, the name of the app may not reflect so much “creativity or deep thought” but the app comes in very handy for the 21st century kitchen. As the name implies, the application with its simple design guides users through easy step by step procedures for preparing Nigerian foods. Fully equipped with numerous indigenous Nigerian meals, the NFR app is filling the gap many young Nigerians are craving and in the most amazing way.

Though Nigerian food blogs are springing up left, right and center, there is still a huge gap in passing the rich food local food culture to the new Nigerian generation. The Nigerian Recipes App serves as a pool of  recipes. Available on playstore, the app has about 50,000 - 100,000 downloads with lots of positive reviews.

Interested? Download the app HERE.

Building up to the release of our comprehensive report on “The Future of Food in Africa”, TINK Africa is focusing on Food and Drink in Nigeria, Africa and the World. From new technologies in the food industry to new packaging ideas to New 21 Century African kitchen. Stay with us to get the full report here on our tinkafrica.

 

Where's best to Wine and Dine in Lagos?

TWO NIGERIAN FOOD LOVERS ARE EATING THEIR WAY THROUGH THE NOOK OF LAGOS RESTAURANTS AND ARE PROVIDING THEIR FOLLOWERS WITH THE BEST REVIEWS VIA THEIR BLOG

Eat Drink Festival / Photo via Star.ng

Eat Drink Festival / Photo via Star.ng

Sometimes the toughest decision after deciding what to eat is deciding where to eat. In a town like a Lagos, overcrowded and populated with over 8 million people, aimless food hunting drive arounds are not that fun. Considering the almost constant traffic jam in the streets, being absolute and sure about ones destination is key. In a bid to save other Lagosians from spending their time on this struggle, two young Lagosians Nosa and Folly set up an interesting platform reviewing food and drink spots around Lagos.

Eat Drink Festival 

Eat Drink Festival 

Eatdrinklagos.com was created in 2014 by the both, built originally from the scratch, the two started visiting Lagos restaurants and bars, sharing their honest opinions online via the blog and reviewing the general experience. With increased followership and consistence, the eatdrinklagos blog became the go to spot for food and drink lovers in Lagos, guiding them on where to and where not to dine. From clean first person point of view food photography to witty, honest and blunt reviews, the blog with its simple design ate its way into the heart of Lagosians. On social media, the @eatdrinklagos  Twitter and Instagram handles served followers with free dining-in-Lagos hacks, tips and witty reviews.

Folly and Nosa / Photo via life.guardian.ng/

Folly and Nosa / Photo via life.guardian.ng/

Climbing on the shoulders of their blog's popularity, the two started organising an occasional lunch club, a selection of 10 guests who do not know each other coming together to dine and network. By the second quarter of 2016 the blog became more than just a restaurant review blog, it grew into a community, Folly and Nosa then decided to try a free festival, the #Eatdrinkfestival, offering food lovers and select food vendors an opportunity to meet, exhibit, network and dine all together. Following the success of the first edition, The #EatDrinkFestival became a biannual food and drink festival hosted by the blog. According to their website, the goal of the festival is “…to curate an unmatched culinary experience with the city’s best food and drink brands. In a single day, guests will be able to eat and drink from an extensive and varied selection of Lagos’ best food vendors.”

The  #EatDrinkFestival recorded over 8,000 attendees at the 3rd edition which took place on December 27th, 2016. The third edition of the festival garnered impressive online buzz. About 201, 993 people were reported by social media aggregator, Trendinalia Nigeria to have seen the hashtag, #EatDrinkFestival since its first mention. Following these successes, the festival now receives numerous sponsors and partners from food & beverage brands, to lifestyle and culture outfits. Folly and Nosa have worked (eaten) their way into becoming authorities and thought leaders as far as food reviews go in Lagos. All fingers are crossed and waiting for the announcement of the 2017 edition of the festival. This is impressive to think, a community of food lovers are gathering in great numbers off the birth of a blog. 

Photo via Star.ng

Photo via Star.ng

Earlier this year, the blog introduced a rather interesting and innovative feature to their platform, an interactive chatbot ready to answer and guide the user through the best restaurants in any selected area in Lagos. The chat session inquires the user’s name, budget, location and number of people joining the food trip, calling the user by the personalized provided name the robot offers lists of restaurants based on selected location, budget etc. all in a few seconds! Try it out!