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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
Because of the clear connection between the Caribbean and African countries, there is sometimes confusion as to what dish belongs to which group of people. One dish that seems to come up very often is Fufu.
No, Fufu is not a traditional Jamaican dish. It is the creation of West and Central African countries. It is one of the African continent's most popular “swallow foods” (doughy, pliable dishes). The very filling dish is traditionally made from Cassava but other starches are often used such as plantains or a combination of two or more starchy foods.
The word "fufu" comes from the Twi language, spoken in Ghana and Ivory Coast. It means "mash" or "mix." It's sometimes spelt foo-foo or fou-fou.
The dough is made by peeling, washing, blending and finally cooking the cassava in a saucepan until it becomes a soft dough that can be molded.
If you have leftover Fufu, then you can store them in the plastic wrap in the fridge and reheat them the next time.
Wrapping the fufu balls allows them to retain their moisture and prevent them from forming a crust.
No, Fufu should not be salted or seasoned. It should be made plain and then had with a stew or soup.
Another method of making Fufu requires fermenting the cassava for a few days before making it. Nothing else in the process changes. Fermenting the cassava gives it a stronger taste and smell and so not many people seem to enjoy this method.
Your hands must be thoroughly washed and I have heard from good sources that when eating with a Nigerian you must eat with your right hand. While hand washing is important before every meal, it is doubly so when it is a meal, you’ll eat with your hands like Fufu is.
The dough is broken off into small pieces molded into a small ball then a small indentation is made in the dough to use as a scoop for your stew or soup.
Traditionally, Fufu is had with soups or stews. The most popular of these being Egusi, Ogbono, Vegetable, peanut soup, and Okro soup. Learning how to make these dishes are easy as well. Many African bloggers and Youtubers have shared their methods of making authentic versions of these dishes.
While it would be great to have Fufu with one of these traditional dishes, if you would like to have a fusion of cultures these are Jamaican dishes I think would go well with Fufu.
In all honesty, I don’t think we do. Although we do have all the ingredients used to make Fufu, we have used them to create other dishes.
With Cassava, we make bammy and with plantains, we make porridge, fry or even roast them instead.
This just goes to show how truly unique the cultures of the world are and how vibrant and exciting the influence of these different cultures makes Jamaican cuisine.
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Is Fufu Jamaican Food? | Written: Janauary 7, 2023