Locust beans also known as Iru or Dawa Dawa amongst certain West Africans is a type of seasoning or condiment used in stews or soups.
No one can deny the importance and difference it makes when used in making soups like ‘Efo riro’ and ‘Egusi’. However, while most might disagree, for me, the smell isn’t so great and just a few months back I had a terrible experience with it.
We all know that when you have to go back to school after a long break, you have to make sure you pack as much as you can from home. So, as a correct Nigerian girl, I packed all the essentials; Iru inclusive ( I’m yoruba and this is what we call locust beans).
The Iru was wrapped in several bags for me to prevent the smell from spreading around my box. It apparently wasn’t enough because as soon as I opened the box where it was packed in and where I had mistakenly put a couple of my clothes in, the smell filled the whole room.
Almost everything I had in the box had the smell. I emptied the box and tried to reduce the smell, separating the ones that had the smell from the ones that didn’t.
Just when I thought it was over…You know how you smell something and seem to perceive something strange but then you smell it again and it seems fine? And because you have to rush out you just ignore it and spray a perfume on it and ……Well, yeah… That was exactly what happened to me the next day when I had to rush out to get a couple of things from the grocery store.
The jumper I picked happened to have been in the ‘ iru box’. I’m sure some of you all are wondering how stupid I must have been not to have perceieved the smell, but I suppose bad things happen to good people sometimes.. Lol, Just kidding.
Anyways, I went out, got my groceries, called a cab because of the amount of groceries I had gotten and just when I was in the middle of having conversations with the cab lady…. she opened the windows. I didn’t find this strange at first, till she asked if I could smell anything.
I ofcourse said I didn’t, because I mean, I didn’t. She ended up concluding that it was probably the smell from the river on the way till I got down from the cab, got my stuffs and paid and I noticed her spraying the cab with an air freshener.
I stood there for a few seconds wondering why she would do that, and then it hit me and I smelt my jumper…. And… Yeap.. You guessed it, the smell.
To be fair, the smell wasn’t so bad, I mean it wasn’t bad at all, the lady could have just been racist or it could have actually been another smell ( and no, I’m not trying to console myself) , but you know what they say about you going looking for something you shouldn’t and finding it? Well.. I did and concluded that it was probabaly my jumper. That was the most embarrassed I had been in months.
For me it was just another hard way of learning to separate food from clothes when travelling.
P.S: Is it obvious i suck at titles yet? Lol.