Again, how much love Nigerians have for foreign meals became glaring at an event organised to showcase Nigerian foods. 

The event, the ‘Nigerian Flavour’ festival, which is part of the ‘Tour Nigeria’ project, did not meet the expectations of most persons present. 

It was organised by Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) in collaboration with National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) and some persons who had come to see Nigerian foods and probably have a taste of them, were disappointed when the saw that Nigerian foods were overshadowed by foreign meals.

The ‘Nigerian Flavour’ festival held in Abuja on Saturday featured food courts, music, arts and fashion, and children entertainment.

But the News Agency of Nigeria reported that only few food spots sold Nigerian snacks such as ‘Asun’ (peppered goat meat), roasted plantain and ‘suya’ (roasted steak).

Majority of the food courts sold foreign snacks, including hamburgers, shawarma, chicken and chips, vegetable stir fries and sandwiches.

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Some respondents expressed disappointment at the low representation of Nigerian food at the event.

They said since the event was organised to showcase Nigerian products, it was important that food, an important part of the culture, should get a huge spotlight.

Mrs Funmilayo Oloyede said she expected to see local soups from all parts of Nigeria represented at the festival with foreign snacks sold at the barest minimum.

"I thought I would see a lot of soups and ‘swallows’, local rice and the sorts.

"It is quite unfair to see that even at our own event, the foreign foods are taking over,” she said.

Mr Charles Obot said that even if the event wanted to have just snacks and ‘finger’ foods, there were a lot of snacks in the Nigerian culture that could have taken the entire space.

“For me, the organisers would have found a way to ban the foreign snacks.

“They would have simply told the food vendors to bring Nigerian food and snacks or nothing else,” Obot said.

Miss Cynthia Anyanwu said that the food courts appeared more like showcases for food outlets so they could gather customers and did not really reflect ‘Nigerian flavour’.

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“The aim of the event is to showcase Nigeria, and food is a huge part of it.

“They have succeeded in bringing popular foreign snacks here, instead of making sure everyone experiences the Nigerian taste by making it the only thing available,” Anyanwu said.

While people are not happy with the attention paid to foreign food and snacks, food and drinks vendors are happy there there was high patronage at the event, as guests were seen munching and drinking away while they networked. 

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