On the inherent inefficiencies in eating pounded yam!

I absolutely adore African food – I made it a point of duty to eat everything from amala, eba, party jollof rice, beans, moi-moi, yam porridge, nkwobi, and that peculiar Cally town culinary delight of Ekpangnkukwo as well as a sampling of soups – ogbono, egusi, afang, editan, afia efere (hmmmm), and even gala and several FanMilk icecreams flavours all in the space of 12 days. In fact, the ability to make piping hot akara is a key requirement of the future Mrs DB!

However, since my 2001 epiphany occasioned by a brief foray into the overall efficiencies of thermal power systems, I have as a matter of principle stopped eating pounded yam. The crux of my argument is that preparing it is so energy intensive that short of eating a double size helping, there is a net loss of energy.Back in the day, we would peel the yams, get them boiled in a pot and then transfer them to a mortar where they would be pummelled into a sticky paste of the consistency of dough for making bread. Considering that at the end of boiling, they were good enough to eat (and I typically fished a few pieces of yam to get a head start on procuring energy for the pounding session), why did we have to go the extra length of pounding them? Did it add moreย  energy to the yam? (Newton would suggest that that was not the case) Or was it merely for the satisfaction of eating pounded yam? Arguably, it probably tasted better pounded than when eaten as mere yam, but in the light of the energy usage was it worth the incremental satisfaction. I would beg to argue that it didn’t.

Of course, we can now buy yam flour (which may contain sulfites by the way), or pound the yam electrically (which is still an added energy use – albeit without the aching arms and tired limbs that physically pounding it came with). But if the thoughts of my iyan loving friends are anything to go by, it doesn’t taste like the real deal! My advice – quit eating it altogether, or only eat it at a Mama Put joint so that the extra energy cost of preparing it borne by someone else. That may be the first step in signficantly reducing Africa’s contribution to green house gas emissions!

54 thoughts on “On the inherent inefficiencies in eating pounded yam!

  1. suprised anyone would suggest not eating pounded yam because of the tremendous amount of energy put into preparing it. I don't pound. I don't know how to. But I still eat it. I buy. People pound for me.
    I LOVE pounded yam. And with the right egusi, hmmm.

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  2. how worwor can you be? I don't think you would have removed your cloak of anonymity in the first place.
    This 29th post sef – address is getting longer than the letter. Really waiting

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  3. @readydee — Haa… is the world coming to an end.. You are so FIRST|.. Guess I was an impressionable Tech guy at the time and the idea of carbn footprint and efficient energy usage wowed me.. LOL @ address getting longer than the letter — it all depends on what i get asked… if i get asked a few questions – it might be a 160 character post.. lol

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  4. Danny B you have my mouth watering!!! When I have no possibility of eating egussi or party jollof (you know the deal) today eh?! How now!!!

    I might have to take a trip to London's finest Nigerian restaurant 805 tonight…

    I have to say I agree with you on pounded yam, although it is a guaranteed sedative so one could argue the loss of energy is recuperated by the enforced sleep period post consumation……you ain't giving it up tho, of all the foods we Nigerians don't like or avoid for one reason or another, iyan CANNOT remain on the avoid list…never! lol!

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  5. I had party rice yesterday…yum!
    But there was no pounded yam ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    How can you not like pounded yam? Do ppl still pound sef? Whats wrong with the powder type? 5 mins and u r done, why go through the stress of pounding? Thats like gym on its own!

    I want gala and Fanyogo! Lol

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  6. lol! only you will go so technical on pounded yam!!..and like people who leave their lamps on in bright daylight, i will leave my own huge carbon footprint of sorts,because there is no argument that will convince me that pounded yam is not worth the trouble (as long as somebody else does the pounding :D)..

    and mmmmm….akara…..*drools*

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  7. You sabi food too much. I can't pound yam to save my life. I think the energy it requires is too much. I love those mama put. You enjoy the food without all the added stress. Even if I help with the whole process, I find that I am to tired to eat the food when it's finally ready.

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  8. lol'
    when it comes to pounded yam, only the deal deal does it for me. no yam pounded or yam flour could give the taste the mortar and pestle does(someone once told me its got that unique taste cos of the sweat that falls in during the vigorous pounding session)

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  9. who says pounding/eating pounded yam has 2 b stressful? when God has in His infinite mercies provided the wisdom to invent yam pounders (electric) and poundo yam (the flour version)…Ekiti peeps where una dey?

    Btw, u referred 2 yam flour in ur post…yam flour is what's used in making Amala oh, not poundee…

    cheers

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  10. lol for the love of pounded yam. Now i have to think of pounded yam all day…

    shey you know they add their sweat as the main ingredients at the Mama put joint..( but na their own sweet pass)..

    @justdoyin you can use yam flour to make pounded yam…

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  11. lol…see technical break down of pounded yam…
    DB..You mustn't pound the yam yourself…ahn ahn!!!
    Justdoyin…you can use yam flour to make pounded yam oo..

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  12. loooool….Talking of punded yam, i only ate it last night…good stuff i tell u!
    I cant remember the last time we used such energy in my house tho, right from wen i can remember my mom always used a yam pounder. She boiled the yam, chopped them and threw it in..technology did the rest of it!
    But now as I see myself in skool with no mommy nor yam pounder, i have resided to yam flour..yes may not be as good..but compare to mcdonalds, KFC and co that we see her…its the real deal joh!
    lol…agree with readydee…pounde yam nd egusi..mehn!

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  13. Like Dante said…"see technical break down of pounded yam"; na only u fit do such! I used to pound when I was younger n' eager to learn how to cook. But since I enter yankee, na yam flour all the way. True it misses the taste/flavor that is indigenous only to the original hand-made version, but as d popular saying goes, "half bread is better than none."

    Enjoy ur weekend DB!

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  14. i rreject this statement oooooooooooo
    stop eating pounded yam

    God FORBID

    but then again i have never had to pound it and for thhe last 10 years i have been mixing it on the stove here in the US

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  15. You're kidding me…nothing like pounded yam DB! Especially when the Mr pounds it and i just make the soup(which is all the time, though i showed him how to do it)…lol..divine..it's what i ate this blessed Sunday afternoon!
    How come i never see you at my end DB? I'm pouting! lol

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    • @naijagirl — I’m answering all her questions….LOL
      @cider — LOL @stare at your plate of pounded yam and ogbono/egusi/other veggie.. Have to admit that nothing trumps a solid plate of swallow food alongside some well garnished soup.. But.. the carbon footprint…… Hmmmm
      @Ready Dee — LOL… Everything on here was on here before, I only changed the theme, the old one took too long to load on mobile devices, so i went for somethinng lighter….Not a mood change I think….Hmmm.. subtle ads? I dunno about that o!
      @Optimistic_alyzzz – Hahah Benin girl… Correct….pouding yam every sunday afternoon? My goodness, that must be the most consistent form of cardio exercise known to man under the sun! Hmmm… fry akara…. really? We’ll see……….

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  16. You and this Akara sef, well I guess I can't apply to be the future Ms. DB. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    But hey! Can I redeem myself? I'm pretty good at cooking a bunch of other stuff. LOL

    Meanwoos, yes the real thing does taste better but America don make me lazy. Now na Iyan Powder wey I dey roll with. I just rediscovered Garri and e no bad at all either.

    Ok some Questions for future answering:

    1. How old are you? How tall are you?
    2. Apart from being a really good Akara maker, what other qualities does the future Ms. DB have to possess?
    3. Do you have any absolute turn offs in a female?
    4. How are things with the faith? Are you a born again Christian?
    5. Apart from being a tried and true GEEK and blogging, what other things really interest you, DB?
    6. The generic 5 year plan question…

    You can either answer all or pick and choose…however you want am.

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  17. Good will send this post to Darkelcee(another blogger) hopefully she can use it to help her husband see reason – lol.

    Having said all that, there is nothing like properly pounded yam.

    Of course I won't go foraging for it and will not even attempt to pound anything the last episode is still fresh in my memory.

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  18. Haa…Danny,…not on this one..you just crossed the line..hehe…I'm a proper Ijesha man meaning that i dont play with my Iyan..Actually if i dont take it at least once every other day ,it feels like something is missing..Thanks for technology whoich helps to me to still relish my iyan even though im thousands of miles away from home…My guy..if you try it with the right egusi soup filled with some very nice "encouragements"..haha…lol…you wouldnt ever wanna stop …lol…Good expository on this one but then..me i no dey feel you ontop this one as much as any of my fellow iyan loving clique…Lol….

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  19. exactly. it wont taste the same. its just like the different taste you have when you cook party rice with gas, or when u use fire wood. the fire wood cooked rice always taste sweeter to me, cos i just can taste the smoke.

    as for pounded yam, i am not a fan, cos it is yam for christ sake, and i make the mistake of chewing it instead of swallowing, and when that happens, the next time i eat eba, i mistaking chew it.

    so u mentioned or the food and forgot to mention starch and banga soup abi? Hiss

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  20. hmmm makes sense..though i must say my understanding is that when u want to pound yam u dont add salt when boiling the yam..so the boiled yam cant exactly be sweet?

    my hubby's best food is pounded yam but he has learnt to eat poundo yam cuz i dunno how to pound. Enuff said

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  21. Gone are the days when my maternal Grandma would arrange my sisters and i around her in a semi-circle and instruct us to watch intently as she pounded away with a vengance, the yam which would be eventually devoured as lunch…..whilst handing out bits and peices of fish and other snackables as she juggled the pounding of yam with the preperation of a number of other dishes…..
    Pounded yam is undoubtedly a favourite among many…I personally prefer it's smooth ride down my throat to the bumpy one of Garri…I can barely stand it….It's so bad that i even prefer Agidi…
    Now onto the preperation…it surely involves a lot of labour…but in the end it's all worth the sweat…
    *drool*

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  22. ahhh party jollof rice….I always wonder what they put in it that give it a different taste to the average jollof rice

    pounded yam….if people considered the process involved in the preparation, it would be removed from our staple dish 'cos the women have to pound and pound until they get the smooth mound….some men would rather have the pounded one to the processed one being sold in packets. I just wish there was a better way of getting that smooth effect without having to do all the hard work

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  23. With regards to the 5 year plan, do you think you have achieved most of it? Have you gotten around to telling your FB crush that you like her? Remember no dulling!

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  24. @Nice Anon — Same here….
    @Toluwa — LOL. Much food but also a whole lot of sweatinng and walking ( i avoid okadas like a plague sinnce once when one almost cut off my little toe). So its actually a net loss of 1.5kg…
    @Nana Aqua — Garri and peanuts — or kuli kuli and garri — criminally delightsome.. especially for peeps who were in boarding school… Questions can be posted here, or emailed to raz9ijaboi@yahoo.co.uk or raz9ijaboi@gmail.com
    @Disguised feelings – Guess i rpobably mixed it up.. Thanks for stopping by..lol
    @Original Mgbeke — LOL… Well, send in the applicatoin and we will review.. ๐Ÿ˜€ Have noted your questions and included in the Q&A session
    @ Thirty + — LOL.. Hopefully I don't get villified for providing the justification for marital insubbordination!
    @ TigEress — LOL.. Well said.. Risk of flatter stomachs.. Good or bad?
    @ Fluffycutethinng — LOL.. Good luck with convincing him o…. As long as he doesn't have my photo and can;t chase me out of Blogsville!
    @ Trybes — LOL.. Well garnished egusi is the bomb.. I have to agree with that… Guess you could offset the carbon footprinnt too..LOL
    @Uzezi — LOL..True it DOES taste differently.. I didn't get to eat starch and banga soup this time hence I didn't mention. It definitely is top of the list for the next time..LOL
    @ Aloted — LOL.. Seems like a mutually inclusive solution has been arrived at there.. Cool..
    @ Rose — Brilliant.. Couldn't have said it any better!
    @ Naijagirl — LOL… I've heard that it tastes different… Maybe its an opportunity for yoou to improve on the design and get a better tastinng electronic version? Neccesity is the mother of invention as they say
    @ Nice Anon — Noted.. Questions will be addressed.. LOL

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  25. It's stressful pounding yam, but at the end of it, when you stare at your fine plate of pounded yam and ogbono/egusi/other veggie, I always sigh, "it was worth it' (lol).
    Thanks for stopping by.

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  26. Nice change to your blog theme. Is that a result of mood change or is it the prelude to tomorrow's post?
    Seems to me that Orig. Mgbek is interested in becoming the future Mrs. DB. I don't blame her. It was hard not to notice DB's subtle ads for one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  27. i am a benin girl so i was brought up to know how to pound yam, in fact we pound yam in my house most sunday afternoons, my sis and i do it together with teh househelps so its not so stressful.

    i can fry akara also, lovely golden brown ones
    does that qualify me for Mrs Db lol

    need to loosea few pounds so i guess pounding is actually doing me a fav

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  28. Anyway how are you doing? Its been awhile. I really dont like pounded yam because it always make me heavy and I no sabi pound yam sef..I'm just praying that my future husband will hate the stuff like mad.

    When next you're in town.. holla "@ me oooo

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  29. Pounded yam used to be my favoritetest food
    it is also my tribe's signature food.
    And the only time i tried pounding, i was shaking all over.

    My parents actually received an electric yam pounder as a wedding gift, and i have to say, it does the job well, the only problem is, i dont think they make that machine anymore. I may just have to beg that they do a pass over to me, because i cannot imagine a life without pounded yam and those stupid sachet potions just wouldnt do.

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  30. I love pounded yam..the real deal not the flour but mehnnnnn i can't pound it o! too much wahala. I used to eat the flour version but then my friend told me that when she was young her grandma used to dry and grind yam and when dried it does not remain white, so how come the flour is white…well afterthat I haven't eaten my home made 5 minutes pounded yam.

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  31. @SpicyTee — LOL.. Will do.. My precise sentiments on punded yam too.. Even though its almost the staple food in the area where I come from..
    @Gamine — LOL.. Same here with the tribe's signature food.. Lucky you.. We had to pound away inn person all those many years.. LOL
    @Tairebabs — LOL… Good for you then.. Thanks for stopping by..

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  32. Danny…seriously? Stop eating pounded yam? R U KIDDING ME? Its impossible na…

    LOL @ this post. I sha liked the way you added orisirisi (a.k.a big grammar) to talk about your love/hate relationship with pounded yam…lol.

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  33. I love African foods as well but pounded yams seems so plain. They need some butter salt and pepper…

    how are you, thanks for visiting my blog!

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  34. @Crazythots — LOL.. Yr new moniker looks a bit like rethots… Thanks.. MOved over to wordpress yet?
    @Nice anon — LOL… You can't assume o…
    @Jaycee — LOL @ orisirisi .. Thanks for stopping by..
    @Oyin — LOL.. Pounded yams with the right soup can be heavenly.. But then.. … Thaknks for stopping by too..

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  35. *shrugs* mystery, my dear, mystery :P..funny enough, i posted that comment as Mr. Hyde by mistake..oops! I never ever ever use that blog, much less comment as Mr. Hyde…

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  36. i came so late sorry. anyway pounded yams, i too think the pounding isnt worth it. just the other day, someone told me i had to learn to pound it, incase i married a man that loved to eat it. i asked her, what would happen to his hand to make me be the one pounding it. i like the flour idea

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  37. me and pounded yam are buddies.but as much as i love it,am never motivated to pound.its just too much work.my fear is after pouding,i might lose my appetite.its better to eat it in a restaurant.

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