People gasp uncontrollably the moment they hear me say that I’m not a meat person. Worse is the confusion I bring when I add that I cannot resist fish, eggs, and deep fried chiccken; the very reason I cannot call myself a partial vegy (plus I enjoy thinking of strict vegetarians as Tree-huggers).
My weird eating habits do not end with my protein intake. I’m basically uncomfortable trying new things. I don’t know about other people’s taste buds but every food I didn’t grow up on tastes and feels someway in my mouth. The first time I conciously realised that bread was a cherished accompaniment to salad creamed with mayo, I was astonished! I mean, when I think salad, I think waakye (eventhough. waakye sellers don’t use real salad but you get my point). So seeing waakye’s friend and bread in the same mouth was inconsistent, if not traumatic. Later on in life (sounding 70), I was shocked again by salad. Thanks to the infamous KNUST Queens hall beans, I found out that salad swore no allegiance to rice and waakye. People actually loved greens on their gorb3.
Now hear this, I’m not making this up. On top of my list of fascinating delicacies is boiled yam with fried eggs for breakfast. No like seriously oo.. with fried eggs? … for breakfast? I thought he was joking but Olasheyi Doyin my nigerian brother wasn’t. It was even his daddy’s favorite. Boy that blew my mind. Whew!
As skeptical, unwilling and strong-headed as I am about trying new stuff, my experience last thursday changed my perspective. After much contemplation I finally decided to have hausa koko for breakfast. Eventhough I have been working in Tema Comm. 7 for a month, I still don’t have all the food vendors in the vicinity of my workplace mapped out. I walked boldly to a woman who I was convinced was an Amelia selling exactly what I wanted – hausa koko. Suprisingly, she told me she wasn’t selling koko. Her cylindrical metallic thingy did not contain hausa koko.
“It is Oblayo“,she said.
“Obla– what?” I retorted in my head.
“Oh it is fine oo.. go and try it”
“It’s koko I want, I haven’t taken this before”, I tried talking my way out of her pesuassion as I looked arround for another food option. But this woman wasn’t ready to budge. She even schooled me on how the maize used in making mordern day oblayo is shredded into smaller pieces. Much different from earlier days when the grains were extra large. I finally caved when she got unsolicited support from another woman who said in quite a loud voice “you can’t resist the taste!”
She did me fine by adding more milk since it was my first time and she wanted me to “feel it”. Pushing her luck, she also tried getting me to buy her toogb33 but I told her I had my own bread. I payed her GHC 1.50 – the standard undiscounted price, asked her if she would recommend my butter bread as a good accompaniment and then left.
I will be honest, my first try wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t prepare my mind for disgust but I certainly didn’t need it. I liked it! It tasted like rice water; it was the closest thing to it. But this time, with cooked maize instead of rice. I love maize and I love milk (well.. who doesn’t), and eventhough I had to get used to chewing bread and corn simultaneously, it was tasty and swallowed pretty easy. Maybe more sugar will seal the deal next time but my first time try of Oblayo for breakfast was a beautiful delight – an interesting breakthrough. It scores 8 out of ten on my charts. And that’s great for a first time try.
As some say, variety is the spice of life. Trying new things and being sensibly adventerous about stuff isn’t a bad idea after all. So for all the stiff-necked people out there like me who aren’t on a diet but don’t want to try new things , I’ve got two words for you. LOOSEN UP! The worst that could happen is a runny stomach.
Don’t go trying dog meat and frog nails in the name of adventure.
Fried fish is still bae!
And I hate it when hawkers shout Oooblaaaayoooo!!!