The best parties have two things in common: good food and strong drinks. That being said, the task of selecting the food and drink for a party must absolutely be taken with the utmost care and attention. Thankfully, I’ve been in the party game for quite some time now and am more than qualified in helping you pick the best feature drink for your next party, as well as the best foods to go along with it.
The best-kept secret to a great party with friends is, without a doubt, the West African drink Palm Wine. Made from the sap of palm trees, Palm Wine is the drink of choice for your guests to turn up, argue, and then hug each other at the end of the night. To ensure that your guests don’t get too much out of line (as the alcohol content percentage is not identified on the bottle) I’ve listed the best foods to go along with this sweet and ridiculously strong drink.
5. Akara (Bean cakes)
If you’re living your life by the old adage that ‘you can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning’, then you better make sure that you have some Akara on nearby while drinking Palm Wine. Akara is a deep-fried beanball, made from freshly peeled and ground beans and peppers. There is nothing more enjoyable than spicy Akara paired with a nice refreshing cold Palm Wine.
4. Spicy Sautéed Tilapia
Everyone loves tilapia. If you don’t, then you can’t be trusted. Period. But, I digress. For those who are trustworthy, here a few steps on how to make the best tilapia. First, you want your tilapia to be deep fried in the best cooking oil you can find. Second, you’ll want to prepare a mix of grilled vegetables, such as onions, tomatoes, and lots of hot peppers, to be served with the tilapia. But do not waste the juices released from the grilled vegetables! This will make the perfect spicy sauce to pour on the tilapia. If executed well, the spiciness from the sauce will have your forehead sweating and your nose running…but don’t stress! The unknown alcohol content of the palm wine will restore your mental state back to equilibrium.
This type of finger food is for the explorer. I am not a fan of the living snail. However, if you’ve had the opportunity to eat a snail, you’ll develop a new-found love for the slow-moving mollusk. I enjoy the snail because it has its own distinct taste that can’t be compared to meat or fish. The snail should be cooked, and not fried, in a spicy tomato sauce made out of slightly blended tomatoes, onions, hot peppers and a little bit of Maggie. Make sure the tomato stew is at least a level 8 out 10 on the spicy scale, otherwise there is no use for the Palm Wine.
Suya is another spicy dish, usually served with sliced raw onions and dried pepper. It can be made with either beef or goat meat. I find that the most authentic version of this recipe is made by the Northern Nigerians known as the Hausa. I also believe enjoying Suya with friends just summonses the best stories out of people. If you want to reminisce about the old days, while drowning yourself in unregulated alcohol, Suya and Palm Wine is the way to go.
1. Asun (BBQ Goat Meat)
This is the meat to eat when having palm wine. A lesser-known finger food in comparison to Suya, Asun is a spicy dish, smoked and dabbed with a lot of flavors that bring your taste buds to life. I challenged my cousin on what was better between Suya and Asun as a dish for a party and he argued for Asun by claiming the fact that it is lesser known but consumed at almost the same rate as Suya, hence making it the better dish. I observed the reaction of different people I brought it to and many agreed that it is the best unknown dish out there. I have come around and agreed that Asun is the food to have with your Palm Wine. Also, it is mostly made and consumed by Yoruba people, so it’s only right that it is number one.