“I Pay ₤60 to Eat Jollof Rice in Germany” — 9 Nigerians in Diaspora Talk About Nigerian Foods They Miss

July 14, 2022

We support your japa plans 100%, but are you mentally prepared to give up Nigerian foods? In this article, nine  Nigerians living abroad confessed how costly it is to get their favourite Nigerian meals abroad.

Joan, 37

I moved to Alberta, Canada, 11 years ago. My older siblings thought it would be great to get a master’s degree and work my way into the system. They were right, but no one prepared me for how much things would change, particularly with food. 

I went from eating fresh fruits literally plucked off my father’s farm trees to eating mushy canned fruits. 

The fruits that weren’t canned (e.g. mangoes) tasted odd to me. I can’t explain how, but they didn’t taste as fresh as the ones I used to eat back in Nigeria. It was later I learnt some of the fruits here are genetically modified to get bigger. 

Meye, 40

I’ve been in Canada for 10 years, and during the dreary winters, all I crave is pounded yam and banga soup littered with bush meat, kpomo and dried fish. Since I left Nigeria, Chinese food has been my staple because it’s the cheapest food option I actually enjoy. 

I can’t even imagine trying to shop at the African stores in Calgary. And trying to get my siblings to ship foodstuff from Nigeria is so stressful. The ones they sent at the beginning of the year [2022] still haven’t arrived, so, until I’m back in Nigeria, I’ll have to manage Chinese food.


RELATED: 9 Nigerians Share Their Experience With Foreign Food


Steven*, 39

I moved to Rwanda in 2019 to start a pepper business. It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made. But the food? Not so much. I went from having aunties, nieces and a sister who’d cook for me to figuring out how to cook my own meals. The culture is very different — the women I dated in Rwanda weren’t bothered about cooking the typical soups I liked. Once they served me fried potato chips, that was it. No one was stressing.

To be fair, Rwanda doesn’t have a lot of food options. I’ve gotten used to it though. I eventually started cooking meals for myself and the Rwandan woman I’m currently dating. I still miss having someone whip up a nice plate of banga and starch sha. 

Elly, 26

I moved to Boston, Massachusetts five years ago for my undergraduate degree in 2017. Amala and ewedu from Lagos is something I really miss. I hate that I have to make it on my own when I could’ve easily walked into a buka back home. Imagine spending $10–$20 for only ewedu here. Luckily, I still get to beg my mum to send amala flour to me.

Kamni, 28

I moved to Dubai in 2017 for my master’s degree. The list of things I miss getting on a regular basis from Nigeria is plenty, but one thing I can fight someone for right now is ipekere and elegede soup. Ipekere is like akara made of corn and fried into shapes like churros — it stays crunchy for days. Elegbede is a native soup from Ondo state. 

It’s not like I don’t get local food in Dubai. I tend to cook more than I eat out, but foodstuff here is so expensive. Takayama for instance. The last tuber I got cost like 30 or 35 AED. That’s about ₦4,500–₦5,000 for one small skinny tuber. Even ata rodo (habanero pepper) is around ₦10k for 2kg. At this point, I go to the store once a month to get everything I need because even transportation to the store is another wahala.

Uche, 28

I moved to Germany for a PhD in 2018. Nothing tastes the same over here. I have to cook a lot of things myself and even then they don’t bang. Maybe it’s because I use an electric cooker and not a gas cooker and I’m tired.

I just stopped being able to cook Nigerian staples like jollof rice because every time I tried, it was just underwhelming. Now, I pay someone in Berlin ₤60 to deliver jollof rice to Braunschweig which is almost three hours away. 

But what I miss the most is soups like oha. Getting that in Germany isn’t quite as easy.


RELATED: 9 Nigerian Meals We Love to Eat but Never Cook Ourselves


Ovo, 56

I moved to Cardiff in 2000 as a Chevening scholar. I was married at the time with one kid, but my family couldn’t come along with me. I liked the idea of trying new foods in England, but when it came down to it, nothing felt as satisfying as waking up to pounded yam and egusi back in Nigeria. The English chicken soups, mashed potatoes and nuggets didn’t compare. And as someone who’d never had to cook my own food, the transition was hard.

The first time my wife and son visited me, I had to beg her to bring soup. I don’t know how I expected that to work, but I was desperate for any kind of Nigerian swallow after six months in Cardiff.

Peace*, 42

When I was 30, I got into a master’s program and moved to Scotland., where I’ve lived since 2008. I’m not crazy about Nigerian food, but the one thing I miss is our spices. Pepper soup spice has to be on the top of my list because I still ask my sisters in Nigeria to ship them to me at least once a year. 

Grace, 29

Since I moved to Alberta, Canada, four years ago, I haven’t had cereal. Finding good powdered milk has been a struggle for me because the liquid milk here makes me feel bloated. The taste isn’t my favourite thing either. 

It’s not sustainable to have powdered milk delivered from Nigeria so I don’t bother. Hopefully, I’ll find something I can sustain, but for now, no cereal for me.


READ ALSO: How to Find Nigerian Food Abroad


Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

August 4, 2020

For many young Nigerians, investing is a very treacherous undertaking. Between the tanking economy and growing responsibilities, you might find it nearly impossible to set money aside for investing. I mean, things are so bad, Shoprite is shuttering operations after 15 years. No, I’m not crying. Back to the topic. Investing is certainly a great […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

August 13, 2022

The subject of this week’s Sex Life is a 25-year-old queer woman who owns half a dozen sex toys and wants more. She talks about her sex toy curiosity, the trial and errors before she found the perfect ones and how she navigates sex with people. 

Recommended Quizzes

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to noneofourbusiness@nayousabi.com), we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.

September 1, 2021

August is over, and here are some of our best quizzes from August. Enjoy: 1. QUIZ: Only Ajebutters Can Get 10/21 On This Quiz Some people like to form ajepako when they’re really ajebutter. Are you one of them? Let’s find out. 2. QUIZ: Sorry, If You’re Under 25 There’s No Way You Can Pass […]

More from Chopist

August 11, 2022

On the days you’re too broke to be restaurant hopping, these 9 cooking hacks may be your only way to survive. And if you don’t learn at least one of them before 30, there’s no hope for you again.

August 8, 2022

Dammy lost a lot of weight in 2021. What she didn’t know was that her method of losing weight was going to come back and bite her in 2022. In this article, she talks about binge-eating and the effect it’s had on her mental and physical health.

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X