Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ube na Oka

Ube na Oka Another Nigerian delicacy!

Most fruit and vegetables in Nigeria are seasonally available. Different street foods pop up along the side of the road and flood the market until their season is up. Then they are gone again until the following year. It was mango season when I got here in March and there were crates and crates of mangoes in the market every week. Branches of mango trees everywhere were drooping under the weight of their swelling fruit. Then some time in June, they just disappeared.

Now, it is Ube and Oka season (Ube na Oka is Igbo which may be difficult to pronounce, but is certainly easier than Dacryodes edulis and zea mays).
That means, African pear and corn season. African pear seems to have some relation to avocado. The extent of that relation may be that they are both referred to as 'pears'. Ube only resembles an avocado in that it is the same colour green on the inside and has a large seed. And when Ube starts to go bad, it tastes how an avocado tastes when it goes bad. Otherwise, the taste is different and the shape is different and the way you eat it is different. And of course the name, class, order, family, genus species. . .all different!

Ube on the left, Oka on the right
So what is to be done with Ube na Oka?

Eat it!!!
Roasted corn reminds me, very vaguely,
 of tortilla and Ube reminds me, very vaguely, of guacamole :) yum!

Of course, there's nothing wrong with French Toast and a good book from time to time either :)

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