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Monochromes - Again

Taking Stock || A Mini Book Review of Longthroat Memoirs by Yemisi Aribisala

Hey all,

How are you doing? Good? Good!

So, it took me quite a while to come up with a second Taking Stock post eh? I apologize.

Catch up on the first one here.

I didn't want to write a significantly empty one so I decided to add a mini book review to this episode.

If I may be honest, I'm wary of doing book reviews. Solely because, I do not consider myself an authority enough to criticize someone else's body of work. Also, I largely think that no one person should be able to dictate to others what they should or shouldn't read based on sentiments.

Anyway, I spent the last two or three weeks reading Yemisi Aribasala's Longthroat Memoirs -Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds and it is a really, really different kind of book.

As usual, I currently am;

Wearing: A lot of Ankara though not as often as I usually do. So, I reckon it is time to restock on Ankara outfits.

Reading: Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, William Goldin's Lord of the Flies and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm almost ashamed that I am only getting to read these now but better late than never right? After these, I plan to get into The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd  by Agatha Christie. Strangely, I haven't read any one of her books.

Eating: Often enough. I'm taking my weight adding goals very seriously this year.

Drinking: Not enough water which is silly because clear skin is part of my goals this year as well.

Listening to: Alexi Murdoch's Some Day Soon. It makes me think of my dad and that makes me so happy.

Wishing: Life was just a little easier and people were a little bit more honest.

Inspired by: Lisa Folawiyo, the creative mind behind Jewel by Lisa. I share her interest in Nigerian wax and she amazes me with how she effortlessly transforms rather drab prints to bejeweled treasures. Her designs are very edgy and fashion forward. I'm also enamored of her personal style which is somehow very different from her brand identity.

Irritated by: Nigeria as a whole. Honestly, I don't want to do again.

Anticipating: Mauve! I'm finally making proper arrangements to build a Fashion styling and Design outfit. It's something that I have been putting off for years because I've been afraid of failing but hey! Who knows? I just might get this right.

Appreciating: My mum a lot this period. She's amazing. Not like I haven't always known, but now that I'm an adult, the dynamics of our relationship is more friendship than mother and daughter. It's helped me see her a whole new light.

Planning to: No plans. Just chilling, chilling.

Wondering: When my husband will finally return from war.

Long throat memoirs presents a seamless mix of a cookbook and cultural history in the most eloquent way I have ever come across. When I bought it, I must admit I was mostly only attracted to the cover. I didn't give it much thought as I had assumed it was yet another cook book.

Thinking about it now, I don't know why I thought to buy a cookbook considering that I'm the least adventurous person you can think of when it comes to food. Frankly, I cook for two reasons; first which is so I don't starve to death and second, because I can't stand meals that aren't home cooked.

As I delved into the book, I realized that for one, Yemi Aribisala really knows her food and she communicates it superfluously. She does insert a few recipes which I am absolutely not going to try but I loved that she wrote a lot about Calabar which is where I'm from. I got really excited reading up about streets and markets that I knew as a kid.

She talks a bit about everything. From food appropriation to feminism and even a bit of Nigerian history. She incorporates a lot of anecdotes which keeps the book funny and lighthearted. There's one about a group of students who visited Obasanjo's farm and stole some eggs on their way out. He (Obasanjo) asked his guards to dust down their back packs, breaking the eggs in the process. Yemisi doesn't know how true this is and I don't either.

In a chapter titled "A beautiful Girl named Ogbono", she talks about her mum who despaired at how much she tweaked her ogbono soup. She could have been talking about my mum right there who can't stand it if you're cooking in any other way than she does. If she puts salt before the pepper and you do pepper before salt, you've automatically spoiled the broth.

She writes extensively about Henshaw Town and Lagos Street which are both markets in their own rights. These chapters left me feeling nostalgic for Calabar.

In Yemi Aribisala's Longthroat memoirs, there is an opportunity for every Nigerian dish/ingredient. From peppered snails to dawadawa; dog meat and ram testicles - a chapter which I read with my eyebrows arched all the way to my hairline.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is in the least bit curious about Nigerian cultural cusines. It is not the easiest read as the language employed is in some areas too grand and unnecessary but it is quite an enjoyable read.

You can buy a copy on Okada books here or on Jumia here.

Did you enjoy this? What books are you currently reading? Do share with us in the comment section.

Until Next Time,
It's Tee


  1. lol at when my husband will return from war
    I totally relate with what you said about your mom, with adulthood now, our relationship is actually getting stronger as we both understand each other better.
    Looking forward to the launch of your fashion outfit Tee
    As for Nigeria I'm just tired of everything, especially our government smh
    All the best in your mission to gain weight.
    Princess Audu

    1. Loool! I might have to terminate this mission soon seeing as I have been failing at it for years now.

  2. It’s a nice little read. Honestly I haven’t gotten into the blog reading unless it’s a blog about Arsenal? I should probably take this hobby up too, but I’m scared I’ll be struggling with the need to write. It’s a nice blog Maete well done. Now about Lupita and I honestly think you should write a blog about beauty and the concept as we have discussed it. Till then ��

  3. First of all I'm inspired by the intentional pictures in this post.
    I have the friendship relationship with my mum too. It's more like older and younger sister kinda thing. We even wear the same shoes too. lol
    Would love to read this piece but for the grand use of grammar, but then how shall we learn if we don't read? Lol
    i enjoyed reading this post.

  4. In fact no matter if someone doesn't understand
    after that its up to other people that they will help,
    so here it happens.


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