*Shitor is a hot pepper based preparation as a dark brown aromatic sauce or condiment dating back several years in its origin in Ghana.
I had just moved to a new city and I was standing in my kitchen sectioning and devouring my carefully prepared rice, baked beans, eggs and shitor when my then new girlfriend walked into my apartment.
“You eat that?!” She exclaimed with amusement and a hint of sarcasm. “How can you eat that crap?” she pressed on. “You bachelors are a mess!” She added. “Are you not going to invite me?
I was pissed so I ignored her. How dare she disrespect my well put together bachelor delicacy!
“Do you know where I can find shitor in this city? I asked as I started doing the dishes.
“Oh, don’t worry, I will make you some.”
Really!!? I went from a pissed off dude to a dotting Casanova in mere seconds.
Now I know what most of you are thinking; did she become a keeper simply just because she knows how to make shitor? The answer is “NO” but her ability to make shitor increased her value tremendously for me.
I have read and followed the debate surrounding the comment Hammamat made about how to make your African boyfriend marry you. I have also read dozens of comments and stories about this matter. I chose not to add to this dialogue since this debate will rage on and there are already enough views out there on the subject.
I am, however, choosing to react to statements Chris-Vincent Agyapong made in his response to the controversy.
In his response about the matter, he stated; “Yes, mere shitto, you may say. But it was so valuable to me.” I totally agree with the sentiment Chris expresses here.
The statement Chris made which resonated the most with me goes like this: “As a bachelor who can’t really cook, anytime I pulled a spoon for that amazing shitto, it got me thinking.”
Chris, you couldn’t have said it better. I am certain Chris considered other factors in his decision to marry his woman but his point which I fully support, was the foresight, the thoughtfulness and the consideration she placed in her decision to give him shitor. Besides, he will know the value of shitor to a bachelor hence, his thoughts about her every time he reached for the bottle.
Here are my thoughts; Shitor is absolutely essential to the existence of bachelors!
Permit me to share how I came to share Chris’s view-point on how important shitor is to bachelors such as myself.
When I started college at Rutgers University in New Jersey, I never worried about what to eat on campus. Fresh bed sheets, washed and ironed clothes was not part of my day-to-day existence but that was not the best part.
The best part about living on campus was three full meals at any of the dining halls of my choosing in the four campuses which made up the college.
Four years later, I was done with college and on my own for the first time in an economy-class bachelor pad. A clueless bachelor and a kitchen equipped with no more than a toaster oven. I was confronted with a life-threatening quandary; what the heck do I eat?
I was squarely in that awkward stage between figuring out how to end my total dependence on someone else providing my daily nourishment, how and what meals to cook in record time and wanting to move away from Chinese takeout every night. This stage resulted in some sad meals like soggy eggs and tuna on toast, cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the occasional microwave TV meal.
It was at this point in my life that my sister entered the scene with the first bottle of shitor. Shitor entered my culinary life at that point and it has never left my side or let me down. To put things into perspective, the first bottle my sister made for me was 16 years ago.
With shitor, a world of possibilities opened up to me and boy, was I excited!! All I needed at the supermarket was rice, baked beans, some eggs and I was golden. If I got my hands on cooked meals such as the ones I used to greedily commandeer at African parties, outdoorings and weddings, adding shitor just made everything taste better.
It’s sacrilegious for a bachelor to leave an African party without both arms hurting from carrying takeaway food which is enough to last for weeks. (My fellow bachelors, just make sure you support the family with a donation. Hey, stuff does not come cheap, you know?)
Up until today, I depend on my sister’s shitor and she never fails me when I call on her. I have moved all over the United States and my sister, God bless her heart, will not hesitate to make and ship 3 or 4 bottles to me anywhere. I love my sister and of course, I value her for keeping me supplied with shitor all these years.
A couple of years ago, my sister traveled outside the States for a long time. To my utmost horror, my shitor supplies were running dangerously low so I made a desperate attempt to make some myself.
I googled, called my sister and some friends who were experts at shitor preparation. I took notes, watched some YouTube videos and scoured the African markets for shitor making ingredients.
Let me just say that my efforts to prepare shitor was a dismal failure and an absolute disaster. Not only did I almost succeed in burning down my place, I almost got kicked out of the apartment building. I had funked up the whole floor with the smell of charred and burnt fish.
The stench was so bad in my apartment that I had to pay a fire damage and restoration professional to remove the pervasive shitor odor in my apartment.
Needless to say, I never made another attempt to make shitor after that horrible experience. I had to go back to depending on my sister, the generosity of friends and the African markets for my shitor supplies.
Those of you who know me well will share my love for shitor without hesitation. Shitor goes into almost every meal I eat with the exception of cereal.
I was once out with a few friends and I told them I was hungry and all the food places were closed so I was heading home.
“What will you eat at home?” One of the ladies asked. “Oh, I will probably boil an egg, cook some rice and add shitor to it.
My female friends in the group started roaring with laughter but the fellas stayed quiet. Finally, one of the fellas interrupted the ladies and declared;
“You ladies have no clue that shitor is life for bachelors.”
Shitor, baked beans, boiled eggs and rice sounds like a weird combination, doesn’t it? It may surprise most that I actually know how to cook very well. My mum, God rest her soul, did not spare the boys in the house when it came to teaching her kids how to cook.
My reliance on shitor is not due to my inability to cook. Cooking for just one person sometimes comes as a bore to me and taking out the time to cook up elaborate meals can be a task. To add to the complexities, I am a pescatarian and my inability to eat chicken or meat further limits my choices.
My fridge looks like the picture below on most days. 90% of the time, I have no food at home, however, shitor is an item you will always find at my bachelor pad any day.
I literally panic when I am about to run out of shitor because I know I can’t drive to the neighborhood supermarket and pick up a bottle.
I have come a long way since those bachelor days after college and my bachelor status hasn’t changed. My repertoire includes adding shitor to almost everything. I do not think my love for shitor will change should I get married either.
Can a woman’s ability to make shitor cause a man marry her? I believe the answer lies with the person you ask. We all have attributes and skills we value the most in the opposite sex. Just like men, I am sure women also have particular qualities they value the most and can be a factor in their decision to marry a man.
Speaking for myself, a woman who can make good shitor is not an item to be checked on my search for a life partner. However, should I meet someone who knows how to make shitor and take over from my sister, I will definitely value her and consider the constant supply of shitor a huge benefit.
Below are some pictures of meals prepared by yours truly. It does not taste as good as it looks just in case you were wondering.
By Kwadjo Panyin
Kwadjo Panyin is a Ghanaian born relationship and lifestyle blogger located in Los Angeles, California. He holds three degrees; a Bachelors degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, an MBA from Franklin University in Ohio and a Masters of Science degree from Northern Kentucky University in Kentucky. Kwadjo is a business professional who blogs for fun. His articles are about the challenges of dating and relationship anomalies. Writing, blogging, world travel, and photography are his favorite hobbies.