What is in Isi Azu (head of fish)?
I know someone that does not play with Isi Azu (fish head). And he is very close to me! What just occurred to me as I set out to write about Isi Azu is the question; is there anything in Isi Azu in the first place to warrant writing about it? The answer will be yes and no depending on whom you ask. With my experience I have come to realize that indeed there is something in Isi Azu!
For starters you will agree with me that if not for Isi Okporoko (stockfish head) a lot of us including chief Zebrudaya will not have smelled stockfish in recent times. This is so given that the body of the stockfish is so expensive only the super rich can afford it. But like Zeebee, all we need is the aroma and all you need is the head to get you going and have the aroma take over your home if you happen to be fortunate working from home when they do the cooking like this COVID19 season.
Believe it or not, Isi Okporoko is putting the food on so many people’s tables as the business is a very lucrative one and again I have testimony of someone very close to me. But the Isi Azu am looking out for here, is not even the Isi Okporo bit, just to let you know that even without starting the discuss we already have takers on the winning side of the argument.
Now enter the point and kill umu ibe (comrades). These are the people that enjoy the delicacy that comes with fresh fish aka point and kill. The food has become a major delicacy with demand outpacing production. These days you would find folks in corners enjoying the meal together and wash it down with anything liquid. Whether it is Ibariogwa in Owerri or Kubana in Abuja, the story is the same, with boys and girls getting down on the hapless fish. The cat fish which is the most sort after variety has very big head that has a lot of meat but needs some dexterity in eating, lest you waste the damn thing. You need time to deal with the thing and most times it is always left to the person that understands and respects Isi Azu to do the required justice. It is mainly in point and kill that you realize the value of Isi Azu after that of Isi Okporoko.
The other ones used for soup don’t come across as very important, even though they still make it into soups of different kinds. To me they are all distractions to the real need in soup. Those types of smaller dry fish used in soup can be so annoying and if they are the only experience you have about Isi Asu you would be tempted to answer the question of whether there is something in Isi Azu in the negative.
The whole Isi Azu of a thing just came to my consciousness as I reflected on the one in front of me the other day and I couldn’t help but noted my thoughts down as I enjoyed the delicacy. As I enjoyed, it wasn’t a question of whether there was something in Isi Azu, it was about when next I would get to repaly the match.
Good news; Aladinma my first self published work got released 23rd July. Find it on Amazon, Barnesandnobles and other webstores. If you are in Nigeria You can also contact me via email or phone to order a copy on your behalf and have it Autographed.
Monday 17th August 2020