Like the heap of Olumo rock, my belly swells beneath my shirt,
filled and appeased by the favourite meal of the oil city,
Threatening to rip three buttons off my chest.
Like the cascades of Olumirin Falls,
streams of sweat trickle down my animated face.
Like the sedating vigor of emu ògùrò,
an aura of restful slumber inundate my nourished frame.
And like the sweet taste of ripe mango,
this combo of bòlì and roasted fish holds my tongue in a prison of passionate romance.
Oh bòlì… oh my sweet bòlì, here I am your Juliet, and there you are, my Romeo!
Everyday, throughout my stay, the oil city of Port Harcourt beamed with an charming and aromatic smoke, not from pots of boiling periwinkle soup or trays of fried yam and dodo, but from trays of wire-mesh carrying precious clusters of roasted fish and bòlì (roasted plantain) smeared with tantalizing hot peppery sauce.
So, even if nothing has amazed me about the Niger Delta; if its beautiful creeks, culture, wildlife and thrilling night life has refused to make my mind rock and roll, this single meal has changed everything for me, and will always be a reason for me to keep dreaming of another trip to this city.
Have you been to Port-Harcourt City and didn’t taste this food? trust me, it would have been better if you had stayed back at home.
- Then she lifts a big roasted fish and places it on the bòlì balls and smears more sauce on it. She then packs it in a paper or aluminium foil and gives it to her customer. Trust me, you wont stop gobbling the bòlì balls until you’ve consumed the last one. And if you loaded the meal down with a bottle of chilled coke, means you’ve sentenced yourself to a jail of 4 hrs (straight) of irresistible siesta!
This article was written by folarin
Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole’s photography and travel writing depict a passionate romance with nature’s endowments. He grew up in the small town of Akure, Ondo State. He is a travel writer, geologist, researcher and tourism activist. When not at work, he writes geo-scientific research papers and travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos, making videos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials.