Boli and Fish: Why Tourists Never Forget Port Harcourt

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Boli: (n) plantain (usually ripe) roasted via heat from hot charcoals. Often eaten with pepper sauce, roasted groundnuts, or bole stew.

Boli StewSauce made with a blend of pepper, salt, and spices heated in palm oil. Often garnished with sliced onions, vegetables, and fresh pepper. Eaten with boli or roasted yam and potatoes, with roasted fish.

Anyone who has ever been to Port Harcourt will attest to the rich food culture that abounds in the city. As a populous metropolitan city, Port Harcourt is often mentioned in the same breath as other large cities like Lagos and Abuja, however, it’s its rich food cultural heritage that truly sets it apart from rival cities. There is a multitude of restaurants spread out around the city that proudly celebrates and showcase Port Harcourt’s traditional delicacies to locals and visitors alike.

Indeed, being an oil-rich city, Port Harcourt has a huge presence of expats, hired by multinationals, trying to explore their new home. Many visitors, however, are tourists who make the journey to enjoy what the city has to offer and undoubtedly this is a city that has a lot to offer. One of Port Harcourt’s shining jewels alongside its beautiful Golf Clubs, Beaches and Parks has to be the Boli and Fish recipe that helped put this beautiful city on the map. Its reputation amongst Port Harcourt’s inhabitants has made it by far the most common lunch option for many people who reside in the city.

It is a meal that helps bring life to many an Owambe event. It is not uncommon for a Boli and Fish to tand to be erected at a wedding to truly provide guests with an unforgettable treat. Don’t be surprised to see people gleefully eating with their hands, not minding if the oil is dripping down their fingers.

Boli and Fish is a well-travelled dish that is often imitated but hardly ever replicated. Like the Jollof Rice’s and Dodo’s of this world, Boli and Fish is one of those meals that several tribes have been keen to adopt and put their own unique spin on. However, for the original, un-tweaked classic that inspired a foodie movement, a trip to Port Harcourt is a must. It will soon become an annual culinary pilgrimage before long.

Have you tried this delicacy before? Or, better yet, have you ever tried to make it by yourself? If you have your own recipe for Boli and Fish that you feel is superior to the original Port Harcourt recipe that we’ve showcased here, you can share with us in the comments section.

 

(Mamador)

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