Diaspora Dining: Home Food Away From Home
“Ain’t no place like home.” A phrase uttered by almost every diasporean living away from home or the land that birthed his/her roots.
It’s never really easy being away from home; the things that bring familiarity, ease (at times), comfort, and most importantly, great food. As the saying goes, “There’s nothing like a good ol’ home-cooked meal.” There’s no argument in such a statement, in fact, you could say there’s a universal agreement to it. Home-cooked meals are a thing of treasure, something you cherish and even at times take for granted. Well, this is until you find yourself away from home, craving nothing but that good ol’ home-cooked meal.
For Nigerians in the diaspora, authentic home food is incredibly hard to come by. Frankly, it’s almost impossible to replicate. On different occasions, I’ve come across fellow compatriots who would do and pay anything for that “home food”. Not food similar or “just like” home food, but that mouth-watering, taste-bud-swirling, delicious home food.
It’s always interesting how much power and control a meal has. “You’re not you when you’re hungry”; an accurate explanation for those irrational moments caused by deep, profound hunger. But how does one feed a hunger craving home food when one is miles away from home?
Plenty of Nigerian restaurants and takeaway joints in London offer you the ‘home away from home’ taste. With their big and captivating neon beaming signs leading you to the entrance of what could be your Canaan land of genuine home food, you ultimately find yourself bitterly disappointed and almost weeping in anger, simply because nothing can possibly explain such terrible cooking disguised as home food. Some are even guilty of horrible food poisoning, (no restaurants shall be named and shamed…today).
So, what happens when you randomly stumble upon that joint that actually offers the authentic home away from home food? Honestly, after all the woeful restaurants and take away spots you’ve (sadly) visited and almost sued for hazardous and life-risking food, all you can do is bookmark and screenshot their website. In my case, the Canaan land of home food is Rem Rem Catering.