Food is any substance (usually of plant or animal origin) that can be metabolized to produce energy, enhance body processes and build tissues. Cameroon is a country characterized by its over 200 tribes and its traditional food diversity. With the Oroko Clan as a significant part of this diversity, this article attempts to list some of the major Oroko traditional dishes, their composition, how they are prepared and served, and what others say about the Oroko people in relation to their food.
Some of the major Oroko traditional dishes include Ekwang, Mekere Na Erembi, Bende Na Erembi, Mekere Na Ndondi Na Ebonge, Boranga Na Itoko, Mekere Na Ndonga Na Maso, Bekube, and Mekere Na Ndoh. Although these dishes are typical of the Oroko Clan, some such as Ekwang and Mekere are widely prepared and consumed in Cameroon. Ekwang is made from cocoyams (Xanthosoma sagittifolia) or cassava (Manihot esculenta), cocoyam leaves or leaves of a certain herb that is moderately bitter (bitter-leaf), red hot paper (Capsicum sp.), palm oil (Elaeis guineensis), special spices [Sore (smoked leaves of a forest plant with special flavor), Ngakanga (nut-like), Ebobe (small seed-like or berry-like)] and some smoked or sun-dried fish/crayfish. After peeling off the outer surfaces, the cocoyams and cassavas are grated to form a paste. Salt, pepper and the spices (Ngakanga and Ebobe) are then added to the paste and stirred to form a homogenous mixture. Portions of the mixture are placed on the leaves of the cocoyam or the bitter herb, folded to form cylindrical shapes, and placed into a cooking pot. Palm oil, spices, smoked fish and some boiled water are then added. The food is allowed on fire for about 20-25 minutes. Generally, Ekwang is served while still very hot and traditionally, it is eaten using fingers.