Hello Ebi! Hello Fam!
As a child, Amachi’s favorite food was spicy amala (Àmàlà). For those of you who are currently scratching your heads, amala is a local Nigerian food native to Amachi’s people who are Yoruba. It’s a dish made out of yam (àmàlà isu), cassava flour (àmàlà láfún) or unripe plantain flour (amala ogede). It can be served with different types of soups such as Efo riro (made from veggies and a combination of meat, fish, etc.)
Depending on the kind of story you have written, you may find that your characters have developed a taste for certain types of foods. It may be meals based on real ingredients and pulled from cultures and environments that are a part of the human world. Or perhaps, you’ve created not only a fictional milieu but cuisine that’s only native to your protagonist’s society. It’s another kind of worldbuilding that makes your book more layered—giving the reader other opportunities to connect with your characters and their story.
There’s a scene in my novel where another character (Morenike) talks about his wife’s cooking:
“The scent of the previous night’s ounje lingers in the air. The spicy aroma makes his stomach rumble. No one cooks better than Fayola.” -Amachi’s Hope
If you are familiar with the anime/manga series Naruto, he madly loves Ramen noodles. In his early years, long before he becomes the Seventh Hokage (leader of his clan, The Hidden Leaf), it was one of the first things Naruto wanted whenever he came home from a long mission. Ramen noodles are not a make-believe dish. But it’s a perfect example of how we can link characters with food and vice-versa.
Does your MC have a favorite food—is it a snack, meal, delicacy? Are they always found eating that food at some point in your story? Have they learned to perfect the creation of their chosen vittles? 🙂 I would love to hear about it!
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