Vera Ezimora: How to eat (hard) meat at a Nigerian event with swag

by Vera Ezimora

Meat

So you stare at this meat in your plate and you imagine yourself at home, showing it all kinds of pepper by devouring it with two hands and no make-up. The problem with letting it go at this event is that it tastes so good and you’re so effing hungry!

If you find out how, please let me know. I don’t know if men have this problem, too, but for women – me especially – eating meat and looking cute at the same time [at a Nigerian event] is next to impossible.

The cause: The meat is too hard

Who’s fault: The caterer(s)

Solution: Softer meat, please!

When you go to an American event, the menu has well done, soft food. The meats – chicken, lamb, beef, turkey – and fish are always easy to cut through with a fork and knife and also easy to swallow. But for us (Nigerians), our food is different. For starters, our beef and/or goat has bones in them, and this is perfectly normal.

I don’t go to Nigerian events expecting to eat, and that’s because most times – in my experience – the food is just blah. But there are some events you go to where the food is just awesome, and you want to enjoy every bit of it. The problem starts when you encounter “The Meat.”

I don’t know what it is about our meats, but they’re always so damn hard. They’re not too hard to be eaten — if you were home, but when you’re at an event, especially a fancy one like a wedding, you just don’t want to be fighting with your meat. You want to cut through it easily with your fork and knife and chew it slowly with your mouth closed.  The problem is …

1.  The meat is too hard for you to cut through it with a knife

2.  The silverware is actually plastic ware (those silverware that are silver-plated and look like metal, but are actually plastic – like the one in the picture), so you can’t cut through the meat.

3.  When you force the silverware to cut the meat, the following could happen (A) The silverware breaks or (B) One of the silverware goes flying across the table and hitting someone in the head or (C) The meat jumps off your plate and lands on the white table cloth where you’re damned if you pick it up and damned if you don’t — cause you really want to eat this meat, but you don’t want to pick it up from the table. What will people think of you??? Or (D) The meat jumps off the plate and lands on your very light blue dress. Grrrrrreeeeeeaaaaatttttt!

4.  You don’t want to pick the meat up with your fork and bring it to your mouth because (A) It might be too difficult to pull it apart with your teeth (B) It might fly off the fork and hit someone in the head — along with some stew and rice, (C) It will smear your lipstick and possibly your foundation.

5.  You don’t want to pick it up with your hand because you’re not about that eating-meat-with-your-hand-at-a-wedding life.

6.  Also, if you do decide to hold the meat up to your mouth with the fork and pull the meat off of it, you risk the chance of literally over-biting. So now, you have a mouth full of meat that is too much to chew and too hard to tenderize with your teeth and saliva. You have three options (i) Keep chewing and looking like a goat chewing on yam peels or (ii) Spit it out and gross out everyone on the table or (iii) Swallow it hard and drink lots of fluid. I have done this last one too many times. It’s painful going down your throat. Talk about the meat being a choking hazard.

So you stare at this meat in your plate and you imagine yourself at home, showing it all kinds of pepper by devouring it with two hands and no make-up. The problem with letting it go at this event is that it tastes so good and you’re so effing hungry! You don’t want to keep fighting with the meat and looking like the hungry girl who just can’t let it go.

Believe me, this has been my testimony many, many times. Too many times. The picture attached is a real picture of a good piece of goat meat I was struggling with at the 40th birthday I MC’d last month. I took the picture because I was going to share it on Instagram and talk about how tasty it was and how hard it was to cut it. But I never got around to doing it.

I mentioned in the post that the caterer was really good, and that was pretty much my downfall with the meat. If the caterer’s food wasn’t good, I would not have bothered with the food. And as the MC at a lot of these events, I just cannot be found struggling with meat; I don’t want that to be my reputation. Imagine if people were referring to me as “That MC that is always fighting with meat.” Bad business.

In conclusion, I’ll say to the caterers: Please take it easy on us. Don’t let us smell and taste the goodness of this meat, only to not be able to eat it. This is torture. It is a cruel and unusual punishment, and the constitution of the United States is actually very much against it. Thank you in advance.

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Read this article on Vera’s Blog

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