Ghana is a West African country located on the Gulf of Guinea. It is a country resplendent in history, culture and beautiful landscapes. It is well known for its involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade. Ghanaian ethnic groups like the Akan lost many able-bodied men to the Slave Trade. Some royals notable among them were the King of Ashanti, Prempeh I, and Yaa Asantewaa were also sent into exile in Seychelles.
Ghana also has a wide range of local delicacies that tourists and visitors are fascinated about. The highly diverse nature of Ghanaian culture allows several ethnic tribes to pick up some of these delicacies from each other and perk it up to their tastes. Some examples include ‘omo tuo’ also known as rice balls, ‘tuo zaafi’, and ‘fufu’ which are all enjoyed by all tribes in the country although they originated from specific tribes. In this article, I will be telling you more about one of Ghana’s best dishes which is fufu.
Origins and Description.
Fufu or ‘fufuo’ as it is locally called is termed as a swallow because you have to eat it with soups and enjoy it with your hands. It is preferably swallowed instead of chewed and goes well with soups. It is normally made up of different tubers depending on one’s taste and preferences. But most Ghanaians use different tubers. Some of them are yam, cassava, and cocoyam. Depending on the tuber used the result which is the fufu can be whitish and sticky or smooth with a yellowish color.
This delicacy originates from the Akan people who form the largest ethnic group in the country. They consist of the Fanti, the Asante, the Akyem, and several other clans. Cassava which is one of the main ingredients was introduced into the country by Portuguese traders from Brazil in the 16th century.
It is prepared using a mortar and a pestle. The tuber is chopped into small pieces and is cooked till it’s done. Then comes the tedious work of pounding and turning it until it becomes a sticky smooth paste. One person stands and pounds while another sits and turns the paste continuously to ensure it turns out smooth without any lumps. Most Ghanaians add either cocoyam or plantain to the paste to give it a different taste and color. Plantain gives it a yellowish tinge while cocoyam gives it a violet-like color. It is enjoyed with different soups, groundnut soup, light soup, or with palm nut soup. This meal is served with a lot of meat and fish and sometimes seafood depending on your tastes.
Although Fufu originates from the Akan’s in Ghana other West African countries like Cote d’Ivoire (foutou), Liberia, Nigeria, and Senegal have different variations of the same meal. This has made Fufuu a sought of West African staple like the famous jollof rice.