Bolè; a rich African road side delicacy

Food is an integral part of any culture. It forms an indelible part of our origin and experience. ‘Bolè’ is a road side delicacy, highly cherished in Rivers state, especially within Port Harcourt. It is a rich and nutritious meal because of the variety of ingredients and food components with enormous nutritional content used in preparing it.
The main thing that makes up this delicacy is half-ripe plantain (bole). This may be as a result of the great production and supply of plantain within the southern part of Nigeria, south-south and River state to be precise. Though recently, there have been additions of unripe plantain, yam and sweet potato based on the perception, taste and origin of the person.

Bole being cooked.
Image: Chigozie Abuta

Other ingredients include; stew (specially made with palm oil), fish, pepper, salt, and magi to taste. Apart from the stew that is prepared by stemming, the other components like the plantain, yam, and potatoes are roasted.
From the food walk, it was discovered that this meal is as old as Port Harcourt and Rivers state. In the words of one of the interviewed food vendors she said “that she was born, and came out to see people eating bole”. However, the number of people preparing this delicacy seem to be on the increase at every corner of the town. Given the small nature and resources need to set up and cook it, it has become one of the fastest growing roadside business in Port Harcourt.

Image: Chigozie Abuta

It is quick to prepare, nutritious and nourishes the body with much needed low starch calories. It can serve as a full meal, appetizer and or even as dessert.

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