THE CALABAR DELICACIES
The ancient town of Calabar has a rich history. Record has it that trading between the white traders and the Efik people of Ibibio dates as far back as the 17th century.
Fish, cassava, bananas, palm oil and palm kernel were among the usual items traded at the calabar port by the locals for European manufactured goods. During the period, in the 1600 Calabar also served as a major slave trading depot in West Africa.
More recently, calabar is still known for a lot of things, for example, The Tinapa resort village, Obudu cattle ranch, Calabar carnival among others. However, one interesting thing about the town of Calabar is the food. Hmmmmm… I have often heard stories about the Calabar people and their food.
You would hear something like ‘if you eat their food, you would forget where you are from and won’t come back.’
A typical calabar meal would consist of assorted meat like bushmeat, oxtail, tripe, cow hide (ponmo), cow leg, snails washed with lemon and lime, stock-fish, dry fish, periwinkles, whole dry prawns, crayfish, palm oil, pepper and all kind of edible leaves.
So what is special about the Calabar food? Afang soup, Edikaikong soup, Editan soup, Ekpang-nkukwo soup, Ukang soup, Atama soup, Ukwogho Etidot soup and a whole lot more are available in the ancient city.
Sure Calabar has a rich mix of cuisine one could choose from. But is that the reason behind the hype. Is it the taste or the appearance of the Calabar food that draws large crowd of tourist? The usual mix of periwinkle and various sea foods as well as bush meat and local leaves gives a mouth watering aroma and appearance.
Some of the best resorts and restaurants in Africa are found in Calabar. Their star attractions are the local foods that bring people from around the world to enjoy and dine together.
The Obudu cattle ranch, a leading vacation spot in Africa feature local African restaurants rich in Calabar staple food.
During the summer you can find tourist around wooden tables dipping their hands into oil soup of edikaikong and licking their thumbs. It’s easy to soil your cloth with oil in the heat of the moment.
Calabar cuisine is largely based on starchy foods, vegetables, sea foods and bush meat. Traditional Calabar meals are packed with large number of meats and vegetables.
When next you visit Calabar, try one of the Calabar dishes. However don’t forget, these foods don’t come cheap.
Let the Amazing Village inspire you every day. If you’ve got a story that you think the amazing village should spotlight, tweet us using the hashtag #amazing_village or email @firstname.lastname@example.org.