When it comes to food, Nigeria certainly isn’t lacking in great cuisines.
But when it comes to mouth-watering cuisines, very few ethnic groups in the country could compete with the Efik and Ibibio of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.
Generally addressed as Calabar people, these tribes are known for their mastery of local ingredients, expert handling of seafood and aromatic spices.
In fact, folklore has it that a Calabar woman’s food can lead a man to do whatever she wishes.
THE WHISTLER in this report highlights eight Calabar delicacies that will tease your appetite and leave you wanting more.
This yummy abundance of periwinkle soup is the Efik analogue of the popular Banga soup. It also uses palm fruit extract (Abak) but differs with the use of the aromatic herb locally called Atama.
This meal combines unripe plantain, cow foot and sometimes cow head for a truly fascinating dish. It is generally recommended for diabetic patients.
Afia Efere Soup
Popularly known as white soup, it can be enjoyed with pounded yam.
Afia efere is traditionally made from goat meat or fresh fish and seasoned with Uyayak (aidan fruit), crayfish and without oil.
Commonly known as cocoyam pottage, this special delicacy is made in a time-consuming process where the cocoyam or water yam is grated, wrapped in cocoyam leaves (nkukwo) or any vegetable leaf and then simmered with various types of fresh or smoked meat, fish, crayfish, prawns, shrimps and red oil until it is cooked to perfection.
As the name suggests, it is a pool of seafood.
Originally made by fishermen by the shore, this delicacy is now adored by all Efik people. The mouth watering fresh seafood soup is finished off with a final garnish of aromatic leaves like the scent leaves and curry leaves.
This soup naturally goes with “Anyan ekpan”; a delicacy made from cassava, cocoyam, water yam or a combination of at least two of these.
Being the Efik version of Okro soup, it is characterised by two main ingredients bush mango and pumpkin(Ugwu) which is high in iron content.
Being a native staple to the Efik and Ibibio tribes, this delicacy is a porridge made with grated or pureed unripe bananas and vegetables. Banana is the main ingredient because of its good source of potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and fibres. Banana makes Oto mboro a healthy weaning meal for babies.
Also called corn pudding, this meal gives you the opportunity to be creative as you would when cooking Moi-Moi, the only difference is the corn and palm oil used in the dish.