Varo jollof rice. Photo: thevegannigerian.com
by Tomi Makanjuola,
Nigerian food going mainstream? Yes, please! I am so excited to be reviewing this product.
Nigerian food chain Varo recently added a new product to their ready to eat moin moin offering, which has literally taken London by storm since it’s launch.
Their latest product is the incredibly moreish jollof rice in two variations – plain and with vegetables. Jollof rice is probably my all-time favourite dish and so the idea of it being available to a wider audience across the UK at such an affordable price (it will retail at £1.60) is a thrilling prospect!
I was immediately impressed with the packaging – clean design, professional, colourful and attractive. There is no way you could walk past it on a supermarket shelf without taking a second glance. I have tried a few rice-based ready-meals in my time and nothing comes as close to how flavourful Varo’s jollof rice is. But then again, come on, this is jollof rice we’re talking about. It’s only the greatest style of eating rice known to mankind, as any loyal West African will tell you.
Two minutes in the microwave and I had a delicious portion of jollof rice in front of me. At that precise moment, it struck me just how revolutionary this product is. With over 1.5 million West Africans living in the UK, any one of them could be having a lazy day and in the mood for a familiar taste of home without the stress and effort of cooking from scratch.
I can’t rave enough about how fresh the rice tastes, and there’s just enough spice to satisfy those who like a bit of heat, but not too much to make it inedible for those with more sensitive taste buds. Not content with just trying it by myself though, I had it as a meal with one of my housemates, Elisabeth, who is now excited at the prospect of making it a regular addition to her weekly shop. Says it all really.
Would I eat this again? Absolutely.
*A version of this article appeared previously on the author’s blog the Vegan Nigerian. Tomi is a vegan who blogs about her food experiences as a vegan Nigerian.