Yoruba people have a variety of food items from where common or locally based foods are made. Prominent among these food items are:
Yam- water-yam, coco-yam, yellow-yam, potatoes,
Grains- rice, beans, (white/brown/black)
Cereal- millet, soya-beans, sorghum,
Plantains- Paranta, Ogbagba
Wheat Oka, Opa-Etun, Eka-Baba
Cassava- Ege, Gbaguda
Vegetable – is a part of balanced diet in every Yoruba homes, it includes leafy and fruit/seed based vegetables
Vegetable/Leafy category- such as: Efo, Tete, Ebolo, Gbure, Isapa, Efinrin, Rorowo, Ewedu
Vegetable/fruit and seed- such as: Onion, Carrot, Pepper (Rodo, Tatase, Wewe), Tomatoes.
Melon (Egusi- N la/kekere)
Fruits- Yoruba has a lot of fruit bearing trees, which for centuries were part of their dietary composition, and sources of materials for local medicines. Some of these trees include:
Lime Osan-wewe Cherry Agbalumo
Locust Bean Iru-Woro/Pete
Oil products and their sources
Palm-Oil from Palm Tree Epo-Pupa
Vegetable Oil Ororo
Melon oil from melon seeds Egusi
Ground-Nut oil from ground-nut seeds Epa
Castor oil Ororo
Palm-Kernel oil from processed palm-nuts Adin-Eyan
Coco-nut oil from coco-nut Adin-Agbon
Soup/Stew and Spices
Efo- has variety, efo stew will also depend on the accompanied meal. This stew can be quickly made for exigency. Time consuming vegetable stew of different types are made for ceremonies.
There is Gbegiri- a rich Yoruba stew common in Oyo, Ibadan, Oke-Ogun, Osun. It is for foods like pounded-yam (iyan), yam-flour (amala) and for Eba (made from Cassava flour).
Other stews include plain pepper stew, the viscous vegetable (ewedu), Ogbona- another viscous soup to eat foods like amala, iyan, Eba, fufu.
Food Source Food Varieties Where Found/Eaten More
Yam and variety-Yellow, Water-yam, Coco-yam, Potatoes Iyan, Amala, Ikokore, Dundun, Asun-isu, Elubo Ebe, Ojojo (grated yam and then fry) (Ewuru), Kukudunku. Iyan- Ijesa, Ekiti, Ondo, Owo, Igba. Akoko Amala- Ibadan, Oyo, IfE, Egba. Ikokore-Ijebu, Ojojo, all Yoruba land.
Cassava/Gbaguda Garri (Cassava meal) Fufu, Gbaguda/Lafun, Cassava flour, Eba, Cassava bread (Beju) Gbaguda/Lafun-Egba, Ijebu, Oyo, Oke-Ogun. Garri-Ijebu, Ondo, Akoko, Owo, Eba-Ijebu, Lagos, Akoko, Ekiti, Akure.
Corn/Maize Eko-Yangan, Ogi, Adalu (corn and beans cook together Agidi), Ipaka (corn flour) Ogi-all Yoruba land (as food and for the administration of medicines) Eko-Yangan- all Yoruba land, Agidi- major food among Yoruba people
Beans- Brown, white,Ewa, (bean of maroon color), Ferege
Moin-moin/Olele/Oole (a bean cake boiled with covered leaves), akara-elepo (fried bean cake), Ewa (boiled beans with or without condiments), Ekuru ( White:fun-fun and Brown: aro), Kuduru.
Moin-moin: all Yorubas, Akara-Elepo/Ororo-all Yoruba land (for social and religious purposes) Ewa-all Yoruba groups (it has both social/cultural values, especially for twins; also, it has religious function). Ekuru-Oyo, Ibadan, Ife and other Yoruba sub-groups, because of its social significance.
Cook alone, or with beans, though a local food. Made popular by Church and middle class workers. Became meal served during festive seasons in cities and villages in the times past. But now a major staple food in Nigeria since the mass food importation (Uncle Bens) of mid-seventies. Rice/beans-all Yoruba land
Vegetables Efo, Tete, Ebolo, Ewuro, Ewedu, Isapa, Rorowo, Efinrin Efo (varieties) all Yoruba land: Ewedu-Ibadan, Oyo and other Yoruba groups. Gbure-Ondo, Akoko, Akure, Owo, Ife, Oyo.
Gbegiri Gbegiri stew Ibadan, Oyo, Ilorin-Afonja, Yorubas in Kwara (Igbomina and Ekiti), Oke-Ogun
Wheat-Eka Baba, Opa-Etun Local wine Oti-Sekete All Yoruba land
Millet Local Wine-Burukutu. Some Yorubas
Oguro/ Palm Wine sourced from a variety of Yoruba palm trees Palm-Wine- A highly priced Yoruba local wine, which has religious, social, cultural and economic values. All Yoruba land for its multiple use.
Omi/Water Rain, Stream, River/ Lake, Bore-Hole (introduced by Colonial Government supported by the Church to prevent water borne diseases). Water is useful to all, for its cultural, spiritual, social values, water is regarded as life itself.
Fruits with dietary/medical values- Lime (Osan-Wewe) Lime tree, a variety of Orange plants A fruit with medical and general use among the Yorubas, major ingredient to make antidote (Aporo) for certain insect, snake, reptile bites. Major ingredient with some herbs for coated tongue (Efu), disorder stomach, thrust.
Palm Tree nuts (Eyin, Ekuro) Palm-Kernel, Nuts (Ekuro, Eyin) Adin-eyan (Palm-kernel oil) major ingredient for several local medicines, especially antidote (Ero) for life threatening illness. Major ingredient for pediatric medicines; use to make local bath soap.
Cashew Nuts Kasu Cashew nuts, (Eso-Kasu) Roasted cashew nut is rich in oil. Roots, leaves and bark of the tree-major materials for local medicines.
Coco-Nut Tree Coco-Nut fruit , produces oil (Adin-Agbon) Major material to produce body cream, and lotion. Use in cooking/very tasty.
Ground-Nut seed Ground-Nut oil (Ororo) For cooking, to make body cream; also a medical item.
Palm-Tree, one of the most valued economic trees in Yoruba land. Nothing waste from this tree (from its fronds, stem to the roots has one use or another). After Cocoa tree, it is called second money-making plant. Palm-Oil, Kernel, Kernel oil, Oguso (local lamp) Iha (rinds of the palm-nut) a local fire-booster, foot-mat; twig (igbago) to make enclosure or yard, where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are cultivated. Fronds use to make hut (Ago); generally use in shrines, associated religious item. All Yoruba land, it has a multiple use- as food, medicinal item, body cream, and source of revenue; it has both social and religious values.
Pine-Apple (Ope-Oyinbo) Fruits- desserts All Yoruba land, appetizer/dessert.
Mango/ Mangoro Mango-Mango Seed for (Apon). All Yoruba land, eat as appetizer, dessert.
Sugar-Cane Ireke- (both tin and large). All Yoruba people for relaxation, it has economic and social values.
Wall-Nut Awusa All Yoruba land-for relaxation.
Apon- a fruit of wild Mango Apon to make stew. All Yoruba land for stew.
Oro- a popular Yoruba tree, it has edible fruit; seeds processed to make Apon. Oro fruits/Seeds. Appetizer/dessert. Processed seeds to make Ap?n; a major ingredient for Ogbona soup.