Kpomo, ponmo, canda, showboy and many other names are the aliases of a very popular Nigerian food, roasted cow skin.
I grew up hearing that eating ponmo is as good as not eating any meat because, ponmo was thought to have zero nutritional benefits to humans.
The exact origin of such claims, just like many other countless false stories we hear on the streets and from our neighbors may never be known. Bur what we can do is to carry out research on the subject matter and clarify issues that are raised.
But I guess it may stem from the use of cow skin as a primary source of leather for shoes and other leather products. Those eating ponmo were and are still to some extent considered poor or at least of little means.
That may be because ponmo is less expensive than beef.
Inspite of the condemnation it receive as being a worthless piece of 'meat', it is still very popular in Nigeria and will remain so for a long time to come.
That said, let us have a look at the stuff ponmo is made up of, is ponmo really useless? Does it have anything to offer you?
100g of boiled, thick cow skin contains about 224.65kcal of energy, 6.80g of carbohydrate, about 43.9g of water, 46.9g of protein, 1.09g of fat, and 0.02g of fibre. For micronutrients, it contains small amounts of calcium (61mg), iron (4.3mg), magnesium (12mg), phosphorus (36mg) and Zinc (6.79mg).
While it is true that beef beats ponmo to the prize of the best protein provider, our ponmo has many to offer to us.
Ponmo contains a lot of collagen, collagen forms gelatin when cooked. Gelatin is also referred to as hydrolyzed collagen and contains at least eight essential amino acids and other non-essential amino acids together.
It does not however contain all the essential amino acids. Hence, it is considered to have lower biological value. It contains all of the essential amino acids for muscle meat.
Collagen is the protein that is most abundant in our bodies. It is not essential that we eat collagen for growth because our bodies produce collagen. However, as we grow older, our ability to produce collagen decreases which leads us to wrinkles. Smoking and ultraviolet rays from the sun also reduce our ability to produce collagen by eating too much sugar or refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice).
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