April 20, 2024
Nigerian Foodstuffs to Pack When Traveling Abroad

Let me tell you for free, when you travel abroad from Nigeria, one of the things you will miss the most about home is our local delicacies. It is also one of the things that will help you feel less homesick, and less depressed if Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) comes knocking. That is why I recommend that when writing your list of what you want to pack when leaving Nigeria, don’t forget to add local foodstuff. 

When packing it’s possible to get excited and forget some of your favourite food ingredients. So in this article, I’m going to share a list of Nigerian foodstuffs and snacks to pack when travelling abroad. But first, below are… 

Factors to Consider when Shopping for Nigerian Foodstuffs to Pack when Travelling Abroad

Countries and import regulations

Every country has its import regulations and they are strict about it- especially when it comes to perishable food items. What is accepted in the US, for example, may not be accepted in Turkey. So before you start shopping for foodstuff, acquaint yourself with the import regulations of the country you are travelling to.

Weight limit and space allowance

Be kg-conscious when buying foodstuff. Because of your luggage allowance, there is only so much foodstuff you can pack when travelling abroad. I’ve heard some people say they packed fewer clothes so they have extra space or kg for foodstuff. Some people pay for extra luggage or cargo foodstuff- especially people travelling with their family. I don’t have a strong opinion on how much food stuff I think you should pack and if you should sacrifice your clothes for more food. But your country of destination could influence your decision. 

Country of destination

There are several countries abroad where Nigerian foodstuffs are easily obtainable. For example, the UK, Canada, and the US. But there are countries where Nigerian or African foodstuffs are hard to get. If you are moving to a country where you can easily get Nigerian foodstuff, you don’t have to pack so much foodstuff at the risk of incurring extra expenses paying for overload. But if you’re moving to a country where Nigerian foodstuffs are not easily accessible, it makes sense to shop for a lot. 

You can find out how easy it is to get Nigerian foodstuff in the country you are travelling to by speaking with your family and friends there or checking online.

Packaging and language

In the article on what to pack when travelling from Nigeria to Canada, I mentioned that it’s worth packing your foodstuff in transparent bags so it’s easy for the airport/customs officials to see what is inside. In addition to this, it could be helpful to label your foodstuff both in your language and in the language of your destination country. 

Shelf life/ expiry date

Another thing to consider would be how long the foodstuffs you want to buy will last. Check the expiry date on foodstuffs/ food ingredients with expiry dates. A good number of our native foodstuffs, if preserved properly, last for months. However, keep in mind that the climate of the country you are travelling to could affect the shelf life of your foodstuff. Your best bet would be to buy less perishable and more non-perishable food items. 

List of Nigerian Foodstuff to Pack When Moving Abroad

Spices and mixed spices:

  • Iru
  • Achi
  • Yaji 
  • Okpei
  • Ataiko
  • Crayfish
  • Suya spice
  • Dawadawa
  • Banga spice
  • Jollof rice spice
  • Ayamase spice
  • Iyere/ uziza seeds
  • Cameroun pepper
  • Pepper soup spice
  • Ehuru (nutmeg)
  • Alligator pepper
  • Potash
  • Cloves
  • Ogiri
  • Uda

Flours:

  • Wheat
  • Garri
  • Yam flour
  • Plantain flour
  • Beans flour
  • Amala flour
  • Pap/ akamu
  • Coco yam flour

Vegetables:

  • Oha
  • Ugu
  • Ewedu
  • Bay leaf
  • Scent leaf
  • Lemon grass
  • Onugbu (bitter leaf)
  • Waterleaf
  • Curry leaf
  • Okazi
  • Uziza

Others:

  • Ugba
  • Egusi
  • Ogbono
  • Abacha
  • Dried fish
  • Palm oil
  • Ukwa (breadfruit)
  • Dried periwinkle
  • Smoked fish of different kinds (panla, mangala, etc.)
  • Dried meat (pomo, snail, goat meat, chicken, etc)
  • Shawa/Bonga fish
  • Okporoko (stock fish)
  • Akwu (palm nuts)

Read also: How to pack palm oil for travel

Snacks

  • Kuli-kuli
  • Chin-chin
  • Groundnut
  • Kilishi
  • Plantain chips
  • Kokoro (corn stick)
  • Gurundi (coconut chips)
  • Dried ukwa (breadfruit), etc.

If there is still some space in your bag, you can add curry, thyme, ginger, shallot, aniseed, cumin, paprika. I initially omitted them from the list because they are cheap and easy to get abroad. 

Drying is an excellent method of preserving your foodstuff to increase its life span. I recommend buying your foodstuffs months ahead of your trip and drying them, before packing. If you are on a time crunch, you can buy the already-dried ones from the market. 

FAQs on Foodstuffs to Pack When Travelling Abroad from Nigeria

How to pack food items for international travel

What food items are not allowed into UK from Nigeria?

According to Gov.UK, meat, milk and milk-based products (except powdered baby milk, infant food) are not allowed into the UK from Nigeria. 

Read also: Packing guide for Nigerians travelling to the UK.

What food items are not allowed into US from Nigeria?

According to the US Customs and Border Protection, meat and spices made from meat are not permitted into the US from Nigeria. You can visit their website to learn more about any other foodstuff or items that you are not allowed to bring into the US from Nigeria.

Read also: What to pack when moving to the US from Nigeria.

Are there any foodstuffs I didn’t add on the list of Nigerian food to pack when travelling abroad earlier? Please share in the comments section below. Do you live outside of Nigeria? If you do, how easily do you get the foodstuff you need?

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