Igbeti_FX Food Tourism; Now this is the Culture I like to experience
Our food tour really began on Friday night when we arrived at Igbeti. All Tourists were advised not to eat regular meals in the restaurant (Tafoo Resort) we visited for dinner, but their menu was limited to Semo, Efo, ewedu, Pepper-soup with various kinds of condiments and Nigeria’s most regular food, rice.
In my opinion, it didn’t actually begin until breakfast on Saturday. We drove straight to Agbele Rock after descending from Iya Mopo Mountain for two reasons; the food and the site. But first, the food.
Did I mention that food was really cheap here? Almost everyone had Iyan (pounded yam) and Isapa Soup. We were served a plate of chicken that felt like it fried was on the tongue but tasted like roasted meat when chewed. It was truly an beautiful experience. I kept complaining about being served the chest part of the chicken even though there was plenty to go round. Everyone knows it takes time to carefully and completely dismantle a fowl's chest.
The gods of our belly seemed to forget their regular need for carbonated drinks as they leaped at the aroma of uncommon food filling our nostrils. For me, there was a party in my belly and the attendants were happy. We kept ordering for more meat and soup even though a wrap of Iyan was enough to feel our belly. The spoils weren’t as bad as we imagined though, economics had our backs in this city.
When each member of the group finished their meal, they had fulfilled smiles to share and a story to tell about the Agbele Restaurant's Isapa Soup. While exchanging stories of the experience, we visited Agbele Rock and the day continued.
The day was so long we dazed through our lunch of biscuit and malt on the way to the Legendary Old Oyo Empire. Even through that, plans for dinner lingered at the back of our minds.
Traditionally, Igbeti people (and Yoruba generally) have light food for dinner and our tour guide could not have chosen a better meal. He took us to a joint which was within walking distance from our hotel where we all had our fill of Egbo and Beans.
Egbo is a local food made out of dry corn –the corn would be cooked for long hours to achieve the desired texture. It is best served with beans. Salt was served separately for whoever wanted more.
I do not know who deserved more credit; the woman who cooked the amazing food or the food itself for its entirely new taste, but my group of tired tourists started having a good laugh after the meal and the night stretched on. Someone even wanted a repeat of the peppersoup they had before leaving Igbeti the next morning. It was really a mood lift
On Sunday morning we were scheduled to leave Igbeti early in order to catchup with preparations for the next work day. We however decided to have breakfast in this beautiful town before leaving. Some of us who were conservative about our meals resolved to abstain from this morning’s meal of Koko and Moin Moin with fried, dry meat. This was indeed a hunter's city.
I had the Koko (a shade of ogi I’ve never seen before), moin moin and fried, dry meat marinated in a pepper sauce. This, no matter how many time I had it, was meal of a lifetime. I would go ahead and describe it if I had the words to use. It felt like my taste buds were working extra hours because I was having a food tour. Or the meal was just that great.
We kept ordering more until it was finally time to go.
Although, the restaurants, joints and junctions had no specific physical beauty, Igbeti really dished us meals. We can’t wait to eat it all at the cheapest prices again.