Efo riro - taken from http://www.9jafoodie.com/yoruba-style-efo-riro/
08Apr

HOW TO ADJUST TO FOREIGN CULTURES AND LIFESTYLES. PART 2: CONVERTING SOME ESTONIA FOOD ITEMS TO YOUR LOCAL DISH – HAKEEM (NIGERIA)

Often times, one of the major worries about people traveling to a different country with different food culture is how to find a suitable food that will be edible for them to eat. Especially Africans traveling to Europe, because our eating culture and the food is really different except just a few globally consumed food items like bread, meat, and fish among others.

We typically come to Europe with heavy loads, as you can see I did too *winks*

In this second part of the way of adjusting to Estonian culture, I will give you some clues on how I was able to convert some Estonian food items into my local dish (i.e.) Nigeria local dish.

Firstly, in Nigeria, we consume a lot of heavy meals. One of them is called Semovita, but we popularly call it ‘semo’.

Semo – raw and cooked
Semo – raw and cooked

When cooked it is usually eaten with soup especially ‘Efo Riro’ it is called ‘vegetable soup’ in English (you can use different types of Nigeria vegetables)

In Estonia, there is a particular food item that looks and tastes exactly like this ‘semo’ though the way and manner with which Estonians cook this meal are 100% different. This food item is called ‘Manna’.

manna
manna

I was able to cook it and got the same food AS ‘semo’. This made me feel hopeful, *smiles*.

Another food item I was able to convert to Nigeria food is called ‘Baby Spinach’; it is a type of vegetable.

baby spinach
baby spinach

It is usually found in packs, I was able to use this leaves to do our Nigerian famous ‘Efo Riro which is usually been cooked using our local leave called ‘Efo Tete’, in English it is called ‘Tete leave’. Though there is a little difference in the taste but it tastes great, believe me.

Tete leaves
Tete leaves

Lastly, I will like to tell you another type of food that can be converted to Nigerian food, it is called ‘Potatoes’, this potato is one of the most popular and common food in this part of Europe. Interestingly in Nigeria, we have potatoes but they are basically ‘sweet potatoes’. Though there are ‘Irish potatoes in Nigeria as well but not very common. The Nigerian food item that has the taste of European potatoes is called ‘Yam’. Yam is quite expensive in Nigeria because it is a very special food. There is no Yam in Europe, even majority of Europeans don’t know what Yam is and many has never seen it before.

Potatoes in Nigeria
Yam in Nigeria, raw and peeled
Potatoes in Europe are called 'Yam' in Nigeria
Potatoes in Europe

In conclusion, as an international student, there is really nothing to worry about when it comes to adjusting to eating the food items of Estonia because you will always find something you can convert to your local food items and also there are means to survive with the type of food items they have in Estonia, also there are very delicious Estonian food you will always want to eat once you taste them. Tere tulemast! (Welcome)

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