Coming Soon!
Food Cultures of Nigeria
Recipes, Customs, and Issues
by Catherine Danforth Onyemelukwe
November 2024, 216pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6949-5
$63, £49, 55€, A87
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6950-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Freed slaves or their descendants returning from Brazil to their ancestral home in southern Nigeria brought bread-making with them. Today bread is a common element of the Nigerian diet.

This volume is an essential tool for readers who want to understand the history and culture of Nigerian cuisine, from typical daily meals and snacks to dining out and holiday feasts.

It is hard to imagine another country with as diverse a cuisine as Nigeria. Its wide range of foods provides a window to the richness of the country’s history, peoples, climate, and culture. This addition to the Global Kitchen series provides readers with insight into the cuisine of the most populous country of Sub-Saharan Africa. Readers will learn about the foods that make up the country’s culinary heritage and the differences brought about by its varied climates and ethnic preferences.

With chapters on food history, major ingredients, main dishes, side dishes, snacks, holiday food, and eating out, narrative descriptions from all major ethnic groups reveal the importance of tradition and the changes brought by foreign influences. A final chapter also investigates today’s food issues, with special focus on obesity as a result of changed eating patterns. Readers will also understand the challenge of having to import food in Nigeria, despite its rich agricultural promise, and how the country is attempting to change this position. Accessible recipes for readers to try at home round out the volume.


  • Provides readers with Nigerian recipes adapted to American buying habits
  • Gives readers an at-a-glance look at Nigeria’s food history in a Chronology
  • Offers an understanding of the major ethnic groups within Nigeria and how these influence food choices
  • Explains how climate and geography affect agricultural practices
  • Shows the influence of religion, in particular Islam and Christianity, on daily and holiday foods
  • Informs about the factors that have led Nigeria to be a net importer of food, despite its rich agricultural land, and how the government is trying to rectify the situation
Catherine Danforth Onyemelukwe is a writer, blogger, and speaker. She is author of Nigeria Revisited: My Life and Loves Abroad and Breaking Kola: An Inside View of African Customs, both published by Peace Corps Writers. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria, where she met her husband, a member of the Igbo ethnic group. She lived in Nigeria for 24 years, becoming intimately familiar with its cuisine, and she and her husband return frequently to Nigeria. She is a member of the National Peace Corps Association and Friends of Nigeria, an organization of former volunteers who served in Nigeria.

The Global Kitchen

One of the most important cultural traditions in a country is its cuisine. Every country and culture has a national dish, an iconic "flavor" that is recognized as symbolic of that location, from Brazil's feijoada to Russia’s pelmeni. The Global Kitchen series explores food culture around the world, with an emphasis on typical meals and recipes.

Each volume in the series focuses on the food culture of a specific country or, in some cases, a small group of countries. Volumes follow the same chapter outline, written in a narrative style interwoven with recipes for hands-on engagement. Coverage begins with a general review of food history in the country as well as a detailed discussion of staple ingredients that play a major role in the cuisine. Several chapters break down specific meals into appetizers and side dishes, main dishes, desserts, and beverages, looking at common meals and recipes that contribute to the country’s culinary flavor. Additional chapters examine food shared on holidays and special occasions, street food and snacks, and restaurants. A final chapter investigates food issues in the country, including dietary and health concerns. Numerous recipes appear throughout the text, and a glossary, a timeline, a bibliography, and sidebars round out each volume.
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