Food & Drink

Q: Can you drink the water?

A: In a word……… No!!!!!!! We wouldn’t recommend this unless dysentery is part of your current weight loss programme.

Q: I have a water filter thing in my kitchen. How do I use it properly?

A: You would be surprised at how many people use this basic piece of equipment wrongly.

  • The filter candles should be cleaned and boiled at least once a month.
  • Tap water should be kept at a rolling boil for 15 minutes and then cooled slightly before being put through the filter.
  • The filtered water should then be stored in clean bottles or containers for no more than 5 days.

Q: Is there a good selection of wines and spirits.

A: There is a huge selection of stuff available. We are finding some particularly good South African and Australian wines out there at the moment.

Imported beer is also widely available. Expect to see everything from Heineken and Becks to Castle and Tiger.

The most popular local beers are Star and Gulder. Formaldehyde levels can be quite high in these so do expect a hangover in the morning. Our rule is that if you are going to drink one you may as well drink ten. The headache is the same the next day.

The local moonshine is called Kai Kai. This can vary in strength so again, expect to be feeling fragile the next day. One of our Oyibos had a Kai Kai hangover that lasted 5 days. Don’t say we didn’t warn you……

  • Received from Gulder Wahalla Oyibo
  • “Just reading through more of the site and thought you should warn of the joys of ‘Monkey Tail’. We got this stuff in the swamps around Olero Creek and is Kai Kai laced with hash. It’s yellow in colour with bits of cannabis floating around (even we thought twice about drinking it). In our defence, we didn’t know its hidden kick until we got back and someone told us. Virtually no hangover, but an extreme craving for chocolate. We were on it for ten nights and never had a dull moment, found the best mixer for it was Squadron! “

Q: Is it safe to eat raw fruit and vegetables?

A: Anything with a skin can be considered safe to eat once peeled. For salads etc. we recommend cleaning all ingredients in filtered water and baby’s bottle type sterilizing fluid. Typhoid is very common here.

Q: Are imported food stuffs available there?

A: A good selection of imported goods can be found in the bigger towns and cities at supermarkets and street markets. Supplies can be patchy though so if you see something you like – buy it. There is no guarantee it will still be there tomorrow.

Do bring any special secret ingredients with you however. After all, you can’t have a Burns Night without Haggis and Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without Grandma’s family recipe for stuffing.

Another tip is to check the ‘Best Before’ dates. There is a lot of expired stuff makes it’s way onto the Nigerian market.

Q: I am a chocoholic. Will I be able to feed my habit in Nigeria?

A: Again supplies can be patchy and depending on how the stuff has been shipped, quality can vary.

Expect to see a lot of the sweets you buy to be covered in a white powdery film if the product has been exposed to higher than recommended temperatures. It is still safe to eat but doesn’t look nearly as appetizing.

Q: How is the quality of fresh meat? What kind of variety can I expect to find?

A: The local beef in Nigeria can be very tough. There are shops offering imported South African and Brazilian beef, which is definitely better but sells for much more than the price of the local produce.

Fresh seafood is one great thing in this country and the Tiger Prawns are huge and great value for money.

Poultry is also widely available but do think Salmonella when making your purchase. It is worth while considering how long it’s been on the market and if the level of refrigeration has been adequate.

Do remember that frozen products only stay that way as long as there is a power supply to the freezer.

Some stores do not switch on their generators at night, so some meats can be frozen and defrosted several times before finally reaching your deep freeze at home. If in doubt…. Bin it!

Q: Fresh milk and dairy produce. How good is the selection?

A: Fresh milk can be difficult to find at times. Most of us survive on the long life UHT stuff.

A reasonable selection of cheese can be found at most stores. Expect some things to be pricey however.

Be careful of ice creams for the same reasons as frozen meats. Poor storage and inadequate refrigeration can add up to salmonella in a tub.

Q: Are there many restaurants and is it safe to eat out?

A: We’ve been seeing a great increase in the number of decent places to eat out recently. Check our Restaurants sections in the city guides for more details. We are adding more venues every week.

Most of the foreign restaurants offer a good standard of service and a good level of hygiene. We would warn you to be careful of undercooked meats, no rare steaks here, and do think before adding ice to your cocktail.

Check the ice is made with clean water and not the stuff from the tap.

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