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Fufu, (variants of the name include foofoo, foufou, foutou), is a staple food of West and Central Africa. It is a thick paste of potatoes usually made by boiling starchy root vegetables in water and pounding with a mortar and pestle until the desired consistency is reached. In the French-speaking regions of Cameroon, fufu is sometimes called couscous (couscous de Cameroun), not to be confused with the Moroccan dish couscous.[1]

A plate of fufu accompanied with peanut soup

In Western Africa, fufu is usually made from cassava, yams, and sometimes combined with cocoyam, plantains, or maize. In Ghana, fufu is mostly made from boiled cassava and unripe plantain beaten together, as well as from cocoyam. Currently, these products have been made into powder/flour and can be mixed with hot water to obtain the final product hence eliminating the arduous task of beating it in a mortar with a pestle. In Central Africa, fufu is often made from cassava, as is the Liberian dumboy. Fufu can also be made from semolina, rice, or even instant potato flakes. Often, the dish is still made by traditional methods: pounding and beating the base substance in a mortar with a wooden spoon. In contexts where poverty is not an issue, or where modern appliances are readily available, a food processor may also be used.

Dried cassava root being pounded into flour to be put in boiling water to make "luku" in Bandundu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo

In Western and Central Africa, the more common method is to serve a mound of fufu along with a soup made from okra, fish (often dried), tomato, etc. In Ghana, fufu is eaten with light (tomato) soup, palm nut soup, groundnut (peanut) soup or other types of soups with vegetables such as nkontomire (cocoyam leaves). Soups are often made with different kinds of meat and fish, fresh or smoked. The diner pinches off a small ball of fufu and makes an indentation with the thumb. This reservoir is then filled with soup, and the ball is eaten. In Ghana and Nigeria, the ball is often not chewed but swallowed whole. In fact, chewing fufu is a faux pas.

Packages of fufu flour sold at a Los Angeles market

A similar staple in Sub-Saharan Africa is ugali, which is usually made from maize flour and is eaten in southern and east Africa. The name ugali is used in Kenya and Tanzania; closely related staples are called nshima in Zambia, nsima in Malawi, sadza in Zimbabwe, pap in South Africa, posho in Uganda, luku, fufu, nshima, moteke and bugari in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In Nigeria the fufu is white and sticky. The traditional method of eating fufu is to wash your hands then take a marble sized ball of fufu in the right hand. You then make an indentation in the ball and scoop up the stew or soup you are eating; finally eating the fufu itself. Therefore fufu not only serves as a food but also as a utensil.

Foo-foo is frequently mentioned in Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart.

Contents

Caribbean fufu

In Caribbean nations with populations of West African origin, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, plantains or yams are mashed and then other ingredients are added. In the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico the dish is described as mangú and mofongo, respectively. The difference between Ghanaian/African fufu and Caribbean "fufu" is noted in both the texture and the flavorings, Caribbean fufu and mofongo being less of a porridge and more of a firm consistency.

Origin

Fufu originated from Ghana and Ghanaians pronounce it (fufuo). The word fufu comes from a Ghanaian language (twi). It is eaten with light (tomato) soup, palm nut soup, groundnut (peanut)-abenqwinesoup or other types of soups with vegetables such as nkontomire (cocoyam leaves). Soups are often made with different kinds of meat and fish, fresh or smoked.(Fufu is basically pounded cassava or pounded yam or pounded plantain. It is eaten with agussi soup or stew in Nigeria and in the Northeast of Brazil.

See also

References

  1. ^ DeLancey, Mark W., and Mark Dike DeLancey (2000). Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cameroon, 3rd ed. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, p. 134.

{Ghanaian cuisine book and history book)

External links

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