Kitchen Connection - Kitchen Connection Goes to: Nigeria!

Back to Blogs

Kitchen Connection Goes to: Nigeria!

Kitchen Connection Goes to: Nigeria!


The National Mosque of Abuja illuminated during the night

By Fabian


Official Name: Federal Republic Of Nigeria

Capital: Abuja

Official Language(s): English, Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo

National Dish(es): Gbegiri

jollof rice with chicken and fried plantain, west African cuisine

By uckyo


Fun Facts: Football, or soccer in the United States, is one of the country’s most popular sports. Its national team has won the Africa Cup of Nations a total of three times.

egusi soup, Nigerian cuisine isolated on white background

By uckyo


"Insider Foodage"

*Country:  Nigeria

*Continent:  Africa

*Capital: Abuja

*Largest City (ies):  Lagos

*Culinary travel destination(s):   

*Primary Language(s):    English, Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo

*%Urban to Rural:  50.3%

*Primary Agricultural Exports:  vinegar, cashew nuts,, cocoa,

*Population:  197,740,832

*Food expenditure for one week:  $290.78

*Caloric intake available daily per person:  2,710 kcal

*Alcohol consumption per capita: 13.40 liters

*Obese population: 8.9%

*Big Mac Price:  $4.94

*Meat consumption per person per year: 8.8

*Prevalence of Hunger:  25.5

*Culture:  Nigerian Society and Culture


Many religions are followed in Nigeria. The constitution guarantees religious freedom. Christians predominantly live in the south of the country, whereas Muslims live predominantly in the north. Native religions in which people believe in deities, spirits and ancestor worship, are spread throughout the country. Many Muslims and Christians may also intertwine their beliefs with more unorthodox indigenous ones.

The major Christian celebrations of Christmas and Easter are recognized as national holidays. Muslims observe Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, and the two Eids. Working hours in the north often vary from those in the south so that Muslims do not work on their holy day, which is Friday.

National Pride

Along with South Africa, Nigeria is considered a super-power in the African continent and consequently Nigerians are generally proud of their country. It has the largest population in Africa and the land is endowed with vast quantities of natural resources. It is the sixth largest oil-producing nation and has a well-educated and industrious society. They are fond of the expression, "When Nigeria sneezes, the rest of the African nations (with the exception of South Africa) catch cold."


The Family

Extended families are still the norm and are in fact the backbone of the social system. Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and in-laws all work as a unit through life.

Family relationships are guided by hierarchy and seniority. Social standing and recognition is achieved through extended families. Similarly a family's honour is influenced by the actions of its members. Individuals turn to members of the extended family for financial aid and guidance, and the family is expected to provide for the welfare of every member. Although the role of the extended family is diminishing somewhat in urban areas, there remains a strong tradition of mutual caring and responsibility among the members.


Nigeria is a hierarchical society. Age and position earns, even demands, respect. Age is believed to confer wisdom so older people are granted respect. The oldest person in a group is revered and honoured. In a social situation, they are greeted and served first. In return the most senior person has the responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the group.


*National Dish (es):  Gbegiri

*National Drink(s):  Palm Wine, Zobo

*Major Holidays/Special Holiday Foods:  Christmas in Nigeria is a family event, a time when lots of family members come together to celebrate and have fun. Most families, that live in cities, travel to the villages where their grandparents and older relatives live.

Many families will throw Christmas parties that will last all night long on Christmas Eve! Then, on Christmas Morning, they go to church to give thanks to God. Homes and streets are often decorated. Most homes will have an artificial Christmas tree.

Children love to play with firecrackers at Christmas. The church choir may visit the church congregation in their homes to sing Christmas carols to them. Christmas cards are sent to friends and family members. Presents are exchanged amongst family members and some families may take their children dressed in new outfits to see Santa Claus.

In addition to serving turkey, a traditional Christmas meal in Nigeria may include beef, goat, sheep, ram or chicken. Other dishes might included pounded yam, jollof rice, fried rice, vegetable salad and some type of stew.


*Local produce:  dessert bananas that we know. They are usually prepared like many starchy vegetable in households. Plantain chips are very popular and quite nice. Dessert Bananas: These bananas are very affordable, but more expensive than plantains and, as you know, sweet on your palate.

  • Mangoes: The mangoes are not the same as in South Africa. These mangoes are smaller and not quite as sweet as we are used to.
  • Pineapples: The pineapples are huge. They don’t turn yellow, but are eaten green. They are not as sweet as the yellow pineapples in South Africa. There are also pineapples from Benin which are not as big as local pineapples, but slightly sweeter and pale in colour.
  • Papaya: Like pineapples, these are also consumed while still green.
  • Limes: Limes are very reasonably priced. Lemons are not as easy to find and rather expensive compared to limes. You do, however, get local lemons, but they are nothing like the yellow lemons we are used to in South Africa.
  • Yams: The yam chips I had were quite flavourless and have a very dense texture.
  • Potatoes: Local potatoes are mostly small with yellow flesh.
  • Sweet potato: The flesh of the locally produced sweet potato is pale. Orange flesh sweet potatoes are imported.
  • Eggplant: These are widely available and inexpensive. The sizes range from very little (about the size of a small plum) to very large (medium-sized paw-paw).
  • Red onions: This is the locally produced onion variety in Nigeria. Brown and white onions are imported and more expensive. Shallots are available at many supermarkets.
  • Oyster mushrooms: These are locally grown and much more affordable than other varieties that are normally imported.
  • Herbs: Basil, mint, Italian parsley and coriander are widely available and not expensive.
  • Beans: There is a large variety of beans available.
  • Flour: All kinds of flours are available and include yam, plantain, semolina, rice, bean and cassava.
  • Peanuts: These are very high in demand, inexpensive and sold by many street vendors.
  • Tiger nuts: Tiger nuts are marble-sized round nut-like bites. The name comes from their tiger-like striped exterior. They are part of the tuber family and grow in the ground. They taste like something between sugar cane and almonds.


*Main religions: Christian and Islam

*Indigenous communities and their dishes:  Hausa / Fulani (29 per cent); Yoruba (21 per cent); Igbo (Ibo) (18 per cent), Ijaw (10 per cent), Kanuri (4 per cent), Ibibio-Efik (3.5 per cent), Tiv (2.5 per cent), Edo (Bini) (less than 1 per cent), Nupe (less than 1 per cent).

*Native species:

Native Plants of Nigeria

Scientific Name

Rogon Daji

Ampelocissus africana

African White Mahogany

Turraeanthus africana

Purple Plume Grass

Bothriochloa bladhii

Thollon's Strophanthus

Strophanthus thollonii

Nganda Coffee

Coffea canephora

West African Piassava Palm

Raphia vinifera


Dacryodes edulis


Pausinystalia johimbe

Light Bosse

Guarea cedrata

African Corkwood Tree

Musanga cecropioides

  • This page was last updated on April 25, 2017.


*SDGs that are especially prevalent in the respective country: 1,2,8,9



Tags : Kitchen Connection Nigeria Featured Country Nigerian Food Travel

Kitchen Connection

Using this space to Connect you with the world, your world!