Fufu

Fufu with light soup and tilapia.

I want to serve up a little bit of Ghanaian cuisine and today I’ll start with arguably the most popular—fufu. I mentioned earlier that fufu essentially is an eating utensil that you eat. It’s used as a vehicle to get whatever you are eating with the fufu into your mouth.

Preparation: Fufu is made with cassava and either plantain in southern Ghana (where I am) or yam in northern Ghana. Cassava is a flavorless starchy root that is fairly abundant in parts of Africa. First, the cassava and plantain are boiled. Then they are pounded together using an oversized mortar and pestle. Typically, one person stands and pounds, while the other sits and mixes the fufu while the pestle is in the air. The result is a large sticky ball with a dough-like consistency.

My host mom and host sister pounding fufu.

Eating: Fufu is usually served with a light soup and some short of meat, such as fish, beef, goat, or grasscutter (deserves a blog post on its own). Fufu is made to eat with your hands. My method is to grab a chunk, mold the chunk so it’s spoon-shaped, and scoop-up some soup. Now the hard part. Once it’s in your mouth don’t chew, only swallow. Chewing will cause the fufu is expand, making any attempt to swallow futile. As always, practice makes perfect.

Final Thoughts: During my first week in Ghana I was scared of fufu and you most likely would be too. However, after eating it for the past few months it has gown to be one of my favorite foods.

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About Ryan

I'm serving in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer for 27 months. View all posts by Ryan

8 responses to “Fufu

  • Bryan

    Looks healthy, but the paranoia of not chewing would freak me out. I wonder how you digest that… When do you want to go to ricos?

    • Ryan

      It’s kinda healthy…there are a lot of carbs in a ball of fufu, plus the soup is salty. On the bright side, most is the food here is all natural.

  • Greg Brown

    Hey Ryan,

    I’m really enjoying reading this blog of yours! You’ve definitely had some adventures over there and it seems like you’re making the most of this experience. On a side note, I took a quick peak at the “grass cutter” on wikipedia. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading that blog when you get around to it! Take care of yourself.

    • Ryan

      Thanks. I just had some grasscutter the other day. I can say that I prefer it over goat or cow even though I’m still not quite sure what it is.

  • Richard Wieland

    Ryan,

    When you are back in San Diego I expect you to make Fufu from scratch for all of us. Need to see if you really are learning any real skills.

    Richard

    • Ryan

      Sometimes I help my neighbors pound fufu and that always entertains them. Don’t know if I can promise fufu from scratch but I hear they sell “instant fufu” in the U.S.

  • Dillon

    Mmm… sounds delicious, like tapioca balls, which btw is made from cassava.

    I’m surprised that potato hasn’t replaced cassava as staple, which will also kill you like cassava if eaten raw.

    • Ryan

      Potatoes are only available in the big cities. I guess they don’t grow as abundantly as yam, cocoyam, and cassava. The yam is sort of like a large potato, it’s not like the yam or sweet potato found in the states.

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