6 Unusual Things Eaten By Nigerians As Food

I know I am going to receive some bashing for this but I still want to write about this. I have seen people eat a lot of things in Nigeria, things that I sometimes cannot even touch with my hand. This is especially true when it comes to meat; Nigerians that eat them would tell you  “meat na meat” (meat is meat irrespective of the source). People eat pigeon all over the  world and I can’t even imagine eating birds like that. I’m not saying it’s bad but I just can’t eat it.

Unusual Things Eaten By Nigerians as Food

I thought long about these things that we eat in this part of the world but may be strange to people from other parts of the world – unless those in the farm settlements over there. Finally, I came up with this simple list of some foods that I think are really unconventional as foods but when I talked to some people, I deduced that unusual might end up being a matter of where you have lived and what you have been exposed to in life.

1. Snakes

Even the sight of these crawling creatures can make me come out of my skin. I simply don’t like seeing them and this makes me wonder why someone would eat snakes. Often when I see people go through a lot of trouble to kill a snake (mostly venomous), it just get me thinking – “what if they get bitten by this snake?”, “how big is even this snake?”. The stress is not just worth it.


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Ahmed Ogundimu
Ahmed is a Food Scientist/Technologist first of all. A Seasoned Blogger, Astute Marketer, Food Enthusiast and Manchester United Lover. I read anything and everything available so I know so many useful and useless things.


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  1. Chei! My fellow Nigerian ooo. First of all, you say people who were raised in the city should be more enlightened about what is ‘odd’ to eat. Who made you the judge of what is ‘odd’ to everybody? You somehow missed dogs, and grasshoppers (which are actually fried and hawked as snacks in the north). What is weird about OUR culture. It is just the way it is. Nigerians are the only ones on the planet who are ashamed of who we are and would rather adopt the culture of others. It’s a shame.

    No amount of enlightenment will change the fact that this is our heritage. So embrace it and spare us the ‘Ewwwwww’ abeg!! Say inyanma instead. You don’t have to eat it, but you also don’t need to bash those who do. I don’t eat any of the things you’ve mentioned, though my parents said they’ve both eaten dog meat (and they said it was really good). I love dogs so I can’t picture myself eating one. But I’m a realist too. I know people will eat dogs and I know that I am in no position to condemn them as long as they don’t eat my dogs.

    The Asians proudly eat squids, octopus, and a live worm like thing. These things are all considered delicacies and the Asians don’t go on blogs bashing their food or calling themselves ignorant. Why do we have such low self esteems? Why is it so hard to look at ourselves and brag about what we have? An American gives birth in Nigeria and the child calls himself an American; but a Nigerian gives birth in America and the child calls himself an American. The plague is being passed on to the younger generation, consciously or unconsciously. Let’s be more aware of the underlying insecurities that sometimes drive us to do the things we do.

    Back to the food issue, do you know there’s someone like you somewhere who is busy obessing over “weird” things that people eat like chicken, turkey, beef, and fish?? Yes..I said chicken, turkey, beef, and fish. Those are probably normal to you, and they are most likely the things that you expect ‘city people’ to eat. As the wise ones have said, one man’s meat is another’s poison, so eat your titus and let people enjoy their cats. What matters is that no one goes to bed hungry.

    1. LoL @ anyanma! That’s a very funny and lengthy one. I did not condemn eating those things, I just keep wondering how people get to have the mind to eat them. I also said I would understand if people in the villages eat them but how did people in the city get to it? It’s not like you would get into Shoprite, Justrite (for example) and see termites, worms, cat, etc on their shelf.

      So, I am in no way condemning those that eat them. I said, what someone defines as UNUSUAL (not weird, odd) depends on a lot of factors at the beginning. If you want to know if something is unusual ask people about these foods and see how many persons out of every 10 eat them.

      Vegetarians will always wonder why people eat animal meat at all but when you take the population of the world and ask who eats meat and who does not, you would find a very large population of people eating meat. So, we cannot call eating meat unusual. Chinese people eat lizard and that’s unusual to the rest of the world.

    1. That’s another one. In many parts of this world, dogs are pets or used for security/hunting. But I believe more people still eat dogs than cats.

      1. Just for the record, alligators are not green, let alone hulk green! You must have gotten it confused with a monitor lizard or an iguana.

  2. It doesn’t matter what you think is right for people to eat. As much as it may disgust you, all animals should be eaten. Yes, eaten. All what you have mentioned as falling in the “eeewwww” category are nutritious.
    I would have taken stand if your list included just vultures, monkeys, crawling termites, lizards and cats.
    Ever imagined what a monkey’s head, legs and fingers would look like in a pot of Egusi soup? Or what a cat’s eyes would look like in a pot of stew? These really deserve an “eeeewwwww”.
    We are Africans, let’s respect our heritage and not just look at everything from the white man’s point of view.
    If you don’t like the various animals you mentioned as being eaten by Nigerians, just say ” iyanma” not “eeewww”, it makes us feel that you’re still Nigerian.
    Nice write up though.

  3. This piece is complete rubbish… I don’t eat any of those, buh trying to make your opinion seem like the best is what I can’t accept…. you shouldn’t just come on the Web and post whatever you want… you don’t eat them, fine… don’t criticize those that do

  4. Which one is far far Chinese eat Lizard. There’s a tiny sect among the ijaws in Bayelsa which I’m proudly from that eat lizard only for medicinal purpose. Any kind of cough! I have had it twice and it worked like magic. The red head Lizzard.

  5. Bible said, I give you dominion over all these creatures. Kill and eat. Not kill some and ewwww some. You said u were disappointed ur friend ate cat, porque? (why) besides that winged termite is very nutritious dude. Rich in protein. That’s even what you should eat more, not chicken, beef and all these high calorie foods.

    1. LoL…Neny killed it all. You know it takes strong courage to put those things in your mouth. I’m taking notes. Thank you!

  6. Young man be proud of ur culture. If u don’t know what to write about, then don’t write. Those termite that u r condemming are more nutritious than ur fish nd beef. Pls nxt time write wt caution.

  7. Well, the poster said “unusual things” Now unusual means just that, it means what everyone usually do not eat. I eat and enjoy most of the things he listed but it’s basically his opinion. It doesn’t change the fact that when next I see nicely roasted Bush rat I won’t eat it and cool it down with a cold bottle of something so let’s keep the guns away.
    Meanwhile poster, are you sure you don’t eat and enjoy some of those things? Like the winged termite plus when you ate that well done alligator, did you die? Abeg give me roasted alligator and fresh cold palm wine and I will be nicer than you could ever imagine.

    1. Well, I did not die but It’s just hard for me to eat these things. Thanks for helping to point out the “unusual things” part too.

  8. Ahmed…I seriously would love to know which clime you grew up in. Because if you grew up in Nigeria, then all those things you ‘eeeewed’ shouldn’t be new to you. All over the world people eat food that is unique to them and they love and are proud of it. Seriously, it’s wrong to ‘eeeeew’ someone else’s delicacy simply because it doesn’t appeal to you.

  9. What a fantastic comment by CL… I love people like u…I wish there is ‘LIKE’ icon here..would have given u 100% likes if there is room for that….

  10. I‘ve seen peeps that eat bugs. They remove the wings snd fry the crispy body. Also peeps that eat caterpillers dug from dump site! Its disgustin bt tasty for them.

  11. “Bring his head let’s cut it off”…that’s what they scream and forget that only in the prophet’s home is he despised. In bayelsa there’s a certain worm-like carterpillar the people over there eat as snack, and whenever I pass and see the grilled meat, I’m like omg, naija is rich. That’s how I think we should treat ourselves as regards to our cuisines and delicacies, not of course over looking other aspects of our culture begging for revival and sustainance…peace.

  12. We eat mopane worms in South Africa. I believe they are very nutritious.(haven’t tried it myself). They dry them out first then cook them into a stew….

    Dogs and cats are a no!no!
    Though we are a diverse society so maybe, some folk enjoy it.

    It’s an interesting topic. Debatable if presented in a more open manner. You would then get a broader outlook and views to the discuss.

    That’s if you wanted our input.

    Other than the dog and cat, none of the other 4 mentioned are odd.

    Haven’t tried any of them.
    But what I know is that people who indulge in such, seem healthier than the rest of us.

  13. This is an awesome n very ineresting post.
    It is eye opening too. N not condemning yet informative.
    It is unusual indeed n not “kosher” according to Leviticus.
    I know of friends that eats dog, rats,frog,scorpions,sea snakes are the yummiest.
    I’ve tasted grasshoppers which is kosher n yummy.
    But rats, cats yuk!
    Generally, isn’t ebola starts from eating monkeys?

  14. in kenya, mostly western, we eat winged termites and even that queen crowling caterpillar like termite. during their seasons we don’t sleep at all. very fatty!! Come to western kenya durin the months of october-early january. and april to early july

  15. Wowww, so educative, der is no room for discrimination. I grew up in Ibadan nd most of wat u said are disgusting are some people favourite. I later continue my life here in Ghana from d past 3 years, I think u dnt hav any clue to criticize wat people eat. I came to Ghana nd only wat I was able to be eating was indomie, rice nd all dis fashion foods bcz I thought I couldn’t afford to eat it Bt dat neva made me to criticize odas. We need to respect our heritage nd culture, if all dis are nt good, God wouldn’t have created dem for human consumption. anyway good post indeed but u hav to Tak ur time nd understand d source or situation of things bfor u write post on it, u hav money to buy chicken nd turkey but som could only afford to hunt for rabbit,snake nd oda animals like dat.

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