Abuja recently played host to the highly anticipated ‘Taste of Arewa’ festival, where food entrepreneurs and enthusiasts gathered to savor the diverse and rich culinary delights of Northern Nigeria.
According to Maryam Ahmed, the convener of the festival’s second edition, ‘Taste of Arewa’ aimed to celebrate and amplify a crucial aspect of Northern culture encompassing Food, Art, and Poetry.
Describing the event as a seven-course fine dining experience, Ahmed emphasized that it delves deep into the intricate and vibrant tapestry of Northern Nigerian cuisine, reflecting the region’s culture, history, and resilience.
‘Taste of Arewa’ showcased a culinary tradition passed down through generations, highlighting the vibrant stories behind each dish. The event uncovered tales of ancient trade routes that brought exotic spices, narratives of communal living that strengthened bonds, and the significance of grains like Fonio, millets, and sorghum as foundations of the region’s culinary heritage.
Ahmed highlighted the festival’s exploration of forgotten ingredients using modern gastronomy, reviving and showcasing the richness of Northern Nigerian cuisine. She emphasized that each recipe carried a piece of the Northern Nigerian identity.
The festival gathered over 65 participants across two days, all acknowledging the transformative potential of local ingredients like kuka (baobab seeds), Acha (Fonio), and Bado (water lily seeds) in creating delectable culinary sensations.
As a renowned Chef and founder of Mimies Homemade, Ahmed’s vast experience in the food industry resonated in the event’s success. She expressed hope that the festival would attract support from Northern State Governments and corporate sponsors, highlighting its role in promoting Nigeria’s diverse and culturally rich heritage.