I read recently that Bangkok’s government has banned all roadside food. I can’t imagine how Lagosians would survive if Ambode suddenly got the same idea into his head.
In his bid to make Lagos into a mega-city, he has had some ideas that don’t exactly take the masses into account. Take the #OtodoGbame palaver and his previous attempt to ban street hawking in the state for example.
Lagos is obviously at war with the two sides of itself; the aspiring world-class mega-city, and it’s true self which needs a lot of underlying issues fixed before it can progress.
I digress. Street food is an important part of this state; it’s cheap, it’s convenient, and it’s delicious. Everyone has at some point eaten one of these local delicacies and we tend to be excited when the ones that aren’t available all year round come back in season.
Boli/Bole (roasted plantain)
Plantain in its many forms is a national favorite. When roasted, it becomes boli, a delightful snack which most Lagosians like to enjoy with roasted peanuts (groundnuts)
Some puff puff sellers walk around hawking their wares in a show-glass carried on their heads, while others are stationary. They set up frying stations and serve this delicious favorite piping hot to their customers. Most puff puff sellers also sell buns.
A lovely savory snack that is also eaten as a breakfast food in most Nigerian homes; Akara is a common favorite and you can find akara sellers set up and frying their wares at various places in the state. Most akara sellers also diversify and sell fried yams and fried sweet potatoes as well.
Most people who sell Doughnuts in Lagos also sell other things alongside it such as their own iteration of meatpies, fish rolls and other things. The struggle is real in Lagos and you cannot have just one hustle these days. You have to have a side hustle as well. Some puff puff sellers also do Doughnuts.
Corn in all its forms
Maize is a general favorite and most people who sell it prepare it two ways: boiled and roasted. It can be enjoyed with various accompaniments such as the popular ube(pear) or coconut. I even saw someone spreading butter on his boiled corn once. Different strokes for different folks.
In my humble opinion, suya is one of the highest Nigerian art forms. Can you tell I love suya? It can be enjoyed on its own or with noodles, rice, garri or whatever you please. It is really very versatile. But most suya men only come out at night. I think the suya men at Glover Court, Ikoyi are usually there during the day though.
Please share with us in the comments what your favorite roadside snacks in Lagos are and your favorite ways to enjoy them.