What is one Nigerian meal that is overrated?


Why would you crave Amala under hot sun?

Before you come for my head, this is just a not-so-normal Nigerian girl airing her view.

Chances are you already know what Amala is. Nonetheless, for those who don’t know, here goes: It is a meal made from yam flour. It is very popular and eaten mostly by people in the South-West region of Nigeria. Although indigenous to Nigeria, this meal has found its way to international menus. A Dubai girl once referred to it as “black pudding”, and honestly I agree.

So, why the Amala hate?

Hate is such a strong word, really. I don’t hate the meal. To be fair, it has earned a fair share of respect within and outside its native base. However, people downplay its apparent cons so much that it is quite unsettling.

First off, what is the point of having a solid meal you can’t properly mold with your hands before it passes through your throat? The meal should appeal to my sense of touch before it appeals to my stomach. I mean its feel and consistency make it somewhat difficult to eat. It feels like I am using my hands to cut out solidified pap. No wonder the foreign girl referred to it as black pudding.

Aside from its unappealing consistency, Amala is also very picky with its “women”. In other words, Amala can only accompany very few soups. You can’t get that “bang” feeling if you are not having it with Ewedu or Gbegiri. These two soups are popularly eaten by people in South-west Nigeria. This is particularly a red flag – or in this case, a black one.

A meal that can be eaten with a variety of soups is what gets to the top of my list.

I know you’re about to say “It can be eaten with Egusi or Vegetable”. My dear, not everyone will enjoy the bitter taste of Amala mixed with those soups.

Pounded yam on the other hand? An undisputed King! That meal is top-notch. Before I continue with the praises, I do not mean the engineered “Poundo Yam”. There’s a clear difference between these two. I am referring to that molded by skill, effort, and sweat into the ultimate “swallow” meal by a mortar and a pestle. Not some refined ‘cassava’ masquerading as the GOAT.

This meal is the complete opposite of Amala. First of all, it’s white (I promise you I’m not racist😬). It also goes with practically any soup on the menu. Did I forget that its feel is exquisite and that you can roll it into sizeable balls while you feast? That should be a must-have attribute for all solid meals. It gives this unexplainable satiation even before the meal even touches your tongue.

What is quite intriguing is that it is also peculiar to a similar demographic in the South-West region. Many from these demographics will also testify to the fact that it is way better. As someone who has stayed in this region of the country all my life, you should not take that info with a pinch of salt.

I don’t think anything will change my mind about Amala being overrated.

No hate to my Amala lovers. Like I said earlier, this is just a not-so-normal Nigerian girl airing her views on what she feels. Airing a little of the workings in her head. In other to not cause serious problems with the Amala community, lest I forget, please look for cold water or soda drinks to take before craving hot Amala on a hot Sunday afternoon.

If you have something to say, kindly drop your thoughts in the comment box. For other food-themed pieces, click here.


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