When it comes to a quick, grab-n-go meal in Ibadan, the options are scarce. Yoruba food is not something you pop in the microwave or throw in a toaster oven. Most people do not have these appliances at home anyway. All of the dishes require a pot, fire and preparation. They take time to prepare even though people can inhale them within 5 minutes. You have a few fast food places in the city (a post about them later) and snacks like ground nuts, bananas and kettle corn, but no quick meals except Indomie.
Indomie is the Nigerian equivalent of Ramen. Manufactured in Nigeria, the instant noodles are a quick, salty solution to hunger for college students, children and (desperate) adults. The package, which comes in regular and super pack, magnifies the words protein, vitamin A, vitamin B and calcium to appeal to the nutrition conscious shopper.The noodles come with a seasoning and chili packet inside. People usually add a scrambled or hardboiled egg too. My younger siblings eat Indomie for breakfast almost everyday! Can you imagine? Indomie is one of the most advertised foods around Ibadan, only competing with different types of evaporated milk, and beer. Massive billboards depicting a mother feeding her smiley child Indomie span roadways and the noodle logo covers market stalls and walls.
In my three years of college I ate Ramen noodles maybe once. Two months in Nigeria and I have eaten the local equivalent close to 10 times. The salty, pasta-y goodness is comforting when I am not in the mood for a heavy Yoruba meal. But still, I didn’t come thousands of miles from home to be eating salty, freeze dried noodles.