Okpa vs Moin-Moin

Pokona,

 

Okpa above and Moin-Moin below

At the moment, I am still a cultural ambassador of Bachama (Bwatiye) language of the southern part of Adamawa State. I just said Good Morning. Are you checking your wrist-watch to confirm the time? A Yoruba proverb says when a man gets to the farm is his morning. I am delighted coming your way again today.

I will tell you a little experience that I had lately, I went on an official trip to Enugu, Enugu State and I called two of my friends in Lagos that I knew had their formative years there. Interestingly, one of them told me that I should bring her Okpa on my return journey. I was dumbfounded as I do not know how to get it; she called one of her siblings who delivered about 25 pieces of it to me in a bag. That got me thinking what the difference in Okpa and Moin-Moin is, let’s reason together.

Okpa, according to @foodieguideng, is a delicacy richly loaded with protein and widely believed to have emanated from Nsukka, South Eastern Nigeria. It is made from Bambara beans. Okpa is said to be more enjoyable in its simplest form with as little ingredients as possible- palm oil, salt and pepper while some people garnish it with vegetable. It can be taken alongside pap, custard or oatmeal. Original Okpa is wrapped in leaves but in Lagos, it is more of plastic bag. Some people can vouch for the Ninth Mile Corner Okpa while some prefer that of Oji River.

Moin-moin, as I have known it over the years, has become a stable food is greatly cherished by Yoruba families. Moin-moin is cooked depending on the taste that you desire and the funds available. It is made from various species of beans- either white or brown. Some moin-moin, are called elemi meje literally translated as with seven lives, because it would be heavily spiced with various condiments etc. Moin-moin can be taken alongside pap, custard, oatmeal, rice amongst others. Whichever way moin-moin is wrapped, either in plastic bag (although this has been said to be harmful to health), cup or leaves; or prepared with palm oil or groundnut oil, it retains its good taste.

What’s the essence of this discussion, there are some constant factors in the making of the two delicacies- there is beans; salt; pepper and there are similar ways in which it can be combined. This shows us that there can be unity in our diversity.

Periodically, I have ran into people who for ethnic and cultural reasons argue unnecessarily on their variations. Don’t you think that the world would be a boring place if everything is the same all over? We need to understand that there would be similarities and differences but we need to learn how to live undivided by such trivialities.

Either you love the taste of Okpa or Moin-moin or you love both, let’s enjoy it without casting aspersion on one another and the world will be a better place for all of us.

Happy Independence, Nigeria and Cheers to all foodies out there!

Olutayo

 

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