Fufu (variants of the name include foofoo, fufuo, foufou) is a staple
food common in many countries in
Africa such as
Ghana and Nigeria. It
is often made in the traditional Ghanaian and Nigerian method by
mixing and pounding separate equal portions of cassava and green
plantain flour thoroughly with water. It is then adjusted to either
increase or decrease the viscosity of the fufu depending on personal
gastronomic preferences. Other flours, such as semolina, maize
flour or mashed plantains may take the place of cassava flour.
often served with groundnut soup, palm nut soup or light soup.
The traditional method is to boil starchy food crops like cassava,
yams or plantains and cocoyams and then pound them into a dough-like
Fufu is eaten with the fingers, and a small ball of it
can be dipped into an accompanying soup or sauce. Foods made in this
manner are known by different names in different places.
1 African fufu
6 See also
8 External links
Portuguese traders introduced the cassava to
Brazil in the
16th century. In Ghana, fufu also known as fufuo is white and sticky
(if plantain is not mixed with the cassava when pounding). The
traditional method of eating fufu is to pinch some of the fufu off in
one's right hand fingers and form it into an easily ingested round
ball. The ball is then dipped in the soup before being eaten.
In Côte d'Ivoire, the word “foutou” is also used. Ivorian
“foufou” is specifically sweet mashed bananas, whereas the
“foutou” is a stronger, heavier pasta made of various staple foods
such as yam, cassava, banana, taro or a mix of any of those.
In the French-speaking regions of Cameroon, it is called
“couscous” (not to be confused with the North African dish
A similar staple in the
African Great Lakes
African Great Lakes region is ugali. It is
usually made from maize flour (masa), and is also eaten in Southern
Africa. The name ugali is used to refer to the dish in
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, semoule, ugali and bugari in the Republic
of the Congo and in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo and
phaletšhe in Botswana.
Caribbean nations with substantial populations of West African
origin, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic,
Haiti and Puerto Rico,
plantains, yucca or yams are mashed with other delectable ingredients
(fufú nigeriano). In Cuba, the dish retains its original African
stem name, termed simply as fufú or with added descriptive extensions
like fufú de platano or fufú de platano pintón. On other major
islands, fufú goes by the names of mangú in the Dominican Republic
and mofongo in Puerto Rico. What distinguishes the
from its West African relative is a firmer texture with stronger
flavors. As it moves away from Cuba, the fufú's core is less a
gelatinous dough and more of a consistent mass.
Puerto Rican mofongo in keeping with the creolized cuisine traditions
Caribbean tends toward a fufú of much higher density and
robust seasoning. While keeping a conspicuous African character,
mofongo has borrowed from the island's Iberian culinary tradition, to
create a dish comprised almost exclusively of fried green plantains,
with neither yucca nor maize. Unlike the mushier
Caribbean and West
African fufús, mofongo is generally firmer and crustier.
Nigerian food fufu being sold on the street Lagos
To prepare mofongo, green plantains are deep-fried once unlike twice
fried tostones. Next, they are mashed in a 'pilon' ( mortar ) with
chopped garlic, salt, black pepper and olive oil. The resulting mash
is then pressed and rounded into a hollowed crusty orb. Meat,
traditionally chicharrón, is then stuffed into the chunky ball of
fried green plantains. A few recipes call for a meat or vegetable
salsa criolla" (related to American Creole sauce) poured on top of the
hot sphere. In the trendier "mofongo relleno," typical of western
Puerto Rico, seafood is all over, inside and outside. Traditional
mofongo, as previously cited, comes seasoned and stuffed with meat and
bathed in a chicken broth soup. Because of its elaborate process of
preparation and its sundry ingredients, poet and blogger Arose N
Daghetto called the mofongo a type of "fufú paella" and branded it as
"the big daddy of fufús."
The vegetable or fufú sauce in the Anglo-
Caribbean is not fried
first. Plantain is not used as much, as it is used in so many dishes.
Fufu is usually part of, or added to, a soupy sauce or on the side
with a soupy dish. In Antigua, fufu is served as part of the national
dish but is called fungi/fungee and is made using cornmeal and okra.
Barbados it serves as part of the national dish and is
called cou cou and uses cornmeal or, less commonly, breadfruit
instead, like several other English
Caribbean islands. In
Haiti it is
called tum tum and Foofoo. It is mostly made of breadfruit but can be
made of plantain or yams and is usually served with an okra based stew
Fufu is believed to originate in what is modern-day Ghana, by the
Asante, the Akuapem, the Guans, the Akyem, the Bono and the Fante
peoples of the Akan ethnic group of
Ghana and Ivory Coast. Today, it
also features in
Togolese cuisine Guinean cuisine, Cameroonian
cuisine, as well as Nigerian cuisine.
Fufu’s prevalence in the West African subregion has been noted in
literature produced by authors from that area. It is mentioned in
Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, for example.
In Ghana, pieces of boiled cassava or other tubers are pounded
together in a giant wooden mortar using a wooden pestle. In between
blows from the pestle, the mixture is turned by hand and water
gradually added till it becomes slurry and sticky. The mixture is then
formed into a ball or a rounded slab and served. With the invention of
the fufu machine preparation has become much less labour-intensive.
Préparing fufu in Togo
Wooden pestle and mortar for pounding fufu
Fufu machine used by a food vendor
Nutritionally, 100 g dry weight fufu contains 2 g of
protein, 0.1 g of fat and 84 g of carbohydrate. There are
267 kcal of food energy in a 100 g serving made up with
water. It is very low in cholesterol. It is very rich in potassium,
and it is commonly prescribed by doctors for people who have low level
of potassium in their blood.
List of African dishes
List of maize dishes
^ Nweke, Felix I. "THE CASSAVA TRANSFORMATION IN AFRICA". United
Nations. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
^ DeLancey, Mark W., and Mark Dike DeLancey (2000). Historical
Dictionary of the Republic of Cameroon, 3rd ed. Lanham, Maryland: The
Scarecrow Press, p. 134.
^ Wheatley, Christopher (1997). Metodos para agregar valor a raices y
tuberculos alimenticios: manual para el desarrollo de productos. CIAT.
p. 17. ISBN 9589439896.
^ Rabade Roque, Raquel (2011). The Cuban Kitchen. NY: Knopf Doubleday
Publishing Group. p. 151. ISBN 0307595439.
^ Martinez, Daisy (2013). Daisy Cooks!: Latin Flavors That Will Rock
Your World. Hachette Books.
^ Food and Identity in the Caribbean, Hanna Garth, Ed. 2013 Bloomsbury
^ Daghetto, Arose N. (2011). "Say Whaaat??–
Fufu and Mofongo!".
Article. Literature Voodoo-- Quite Storm Enterprises. Retrieved
December 17, 2015.
^ Siciliano-Rosen, L. "Fufu." Encyclopedia
^ "How many calories are in Golden Tropics
slimkicker.com. SlimKicker. 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
"Ghana's cooks take to fast fufu". BBC News. 2006-05-29. Retrieved
August 5, 2008. Microwavable instant fufu.
Dangers of consuming under-processed fufu.
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