There is, no doubt, that the rethinking of indigenous knowledge systems is powered and reinforced by culture, which, in itself, is not only elastic and enduring but also benchmarks matters of identity.
Embedded in this vortex of related tendencies is the life-giving phenomenon of cuisine. This book project is an interdisciplinary engagement that seeks to explore, from as many perspectives as possible, the culinary item known as Amiedi or Banga soup, a gravy made from palm nut fruits, which is very popular in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
The soup, as it is now popularly known, has not only gained national visibility, but it has also made many a diaspora menu especially among Nigerians and other Africans abroad.
Over the years, Amiedi has taken on different significances as seen in a recent essay The Power of Banga, by Henrietta Eshalomi, published in Routed Magazine.
Eshalomi’s essay, shared on an academic platform, generated such an exciting debate that surprisingly reflected the often-overlooked matter of cuisine in identity politics.
The debate, ranging from the origin of the soup, its name, techniques of preparation, ingredients, delightful taste, romance, health benefits, business, and economic benefits, diaspora presence, cultural ownership, cultural variances in preparation, cultural diplomacy, etc., pointed at the possibility of a critical engagement with Amiedi or Banga soup as a full-blown subject for an elaborate book on the themes: Origin and naming of Amiedi/Banga soup; Ingredients and techniques of preparation; Amiedi/Banga soup, Delicacy, Romance and Hospitality; Amiedi/Banga Soup Business and Economic Benefits, Cultural Ownership and Variants of Amiedi/Banga Soup; Amiedi/Banga Soup and Cross-cultural Interface; Amiedi/Banga soup and Diaspora presence and travels; Amiedi/Banga soup and Cultural diplomacy; Amiedi/Banga soup and Generational Connectivity; and Amiedi/Banga soup Conflict Resolution and Peace Initiations.