"Unoka went into an inner room and soon returned with a small wooden disc containing a kola nut, some alligator pepper, and a lump of white chalk"
Kola Nut
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeKola Nut - Credit: Simon Berry

Kola nuts are the first thing that Unoka brings in this part of the book. The kola nut is a nut with a bitter flavor that is chewed by many people in West Africa either individually or in a group setting. More often than not,

Alligator Pepper
Creative Commons AttributionAlligator Pepper - Credit: Dyfed Lloyd Evans

it will be used ceremonially or presented to the tribal chiefs or guests. Chewing the kola nut has been known to help relieve hunger pangs but can also stain teeth. The second thing Unoka brings in is alligator pepper, which is a hot spice that is frequently eaten with the kola nut. The alligator pepper is a tropical perennial that grows up to 5’ tall. The seeds are hard, shiny, reddish brown and oval- shaped.