To P or not to P, that is the question.

Before my sister Laitan asked me yesterday, in an email, what food I’ve been eating since I got here, I had been meaning to write another post on the different food items I have encountered, most of which are flour-based, and my despair in finding most of the African foods I’m already used to. Some weeks ago in Providence, Rhode Island, we were invited to an international night of American cuisines and here were my thoughts on the food we ate then. Then a few days ago, I read a post/piece on Loomnie’s blog about the problem of finding African food to buy in Europe, and felt sufficiently motivated. Here now is a short list of American food and food items starting with “P” that I have had since I got here. Enjoy.


  • Pawpaw
  • Poultry eggs/Poached egg
  • Pasta
  • Pizza/Pie
  • Pepperoni
  • Pancakes/Pretzels/Pringles
  • Peanuts
  • Peanut Buttercups
  • Potato Chips
  • Potato Salad
  • Pineapple juice
  • Pumpkin seeds

If you are reading this in Nigeria, do not ask me about “Puff-puff”, “Palm wine”, “Pounded yam”, “Pito” or “Paraga”. Do not ask about “Pọnmọ” either. They do not yet exist in my Edwardsville radar of P-foods. But one of these days, when I return from my next trip to St. Louis to visit an African food shop, I should be able to tell you more from what I would have newly discovered. I have now just come off the phone with my host/adopted family who have invited me for a Picnic on Saturday. They’ve asked me to come very hungry because the whole neighbourhood would be cooking, not just for me, but for everyone. And just when I thought I had my P-list exhausted, she dropped the info that there would also be a feat of whole roasted Pig. What I have not told her is that I’m not so much of a Pork fan, and this might be where I draw a line on my P-experiments in gastronomy. Until then, I will keep enjoying my pastries, with potato salad and pepperoni sauce.

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