About 12 states on Thursday night showcased the health benefits of their indigenous cuisines at the Cuisine Competition in the ongoing National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) in Jos, Plateau.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that states that participated in the competition were Benue, Ekiti Benue, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Taraba, Cross River, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna.
In her remarks at the ceremony, held at Landsfield Leisure Park, Mrs Josephine Ogbolu, General Manager, Delta Tourism Board, said her state showcased “Ujuju” Soup, among the unique cuisines mainly consumed by people from Delta North.
Ogbolu said, “Ujuju soup, commonly known as ‘Veronica Comforter’, is unique, because it calms an individual down, especially women, after consumption.
According to her, it is loaded with vitamins, iron and calcium.
She said that the state also exhibited the native Banga rice soup, Prawn soup, Nsala soup, sauced fish, among other local snacks.
“Delta, known as the ‘Big Heart’, is big in everything; we have abundance of food, and we have come to project our unique cuisines like the Ujuju soup at the festival.
“It is majorly consumed by women to calm their system down, and people should know this and try to consume it.
“I expect that after this festival, we will begin to export our foods; we have different types of healthy rice like Banga rice, Ogiri rice, Ofada rice.
“These are our products, which I believe, can transform our economy, if we produce them in large quantities for export.
“We don’t have to keep enriching the economy of other nations and leave ours to suffer,” she said.
Also, Mrs Bawa Tama, Director, Ministry of Tourism in Taraba, said her state exhibited Shampe soup, being the most nutritious of all that were exhibited.
Tama said that the soup aids digestion and loaded with vitamins and protein.
The director said the state also exhibited locally prepared fresh fish soup and other local snacks that could be accepted at the national level.
She said that an online platform had been created to educate people on the preparation of all the state’s local cuisines.
Commenting, Mrs Esther Abor, Secretary, Benue Arts Council, said the state exhibited its local soup called “Ikegh Shaishwa”, prepared with Beniseed and other local condiments.
According to Abor, Shaishwa, usually consumed with pounded yam, is a nutritious meal that gives people strength, saying it contains vitamins and protein.
She called on Nigerians to create platforms for the promotion of local cuisines for international recognition and acceptance.
“This country is endowed with many local cuisines which are beneficial to the human body.
“We must work toward showcasing our cuisines internationally,” she said.
In her remarks, Hajiya Hauwa Lafia from Kebbi State, listed indigenous cuisines peculiar to the state to include: “Miyah Kofi and Miyah Kuka, saying they are mostly consumed by sick people to restore energy to their lost energy.
NAN reports that the result of the local cuisines competition among the 12 states would be announced at the closing ceremony of the festival on Nov. 28.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Olagoke Olatoye
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