Searching the local cuisine was necessary in preparation for arriving in Ghana. While familiar items like kebabs and rice were discussed, fufu or foofoo appeared in each of my searches. Wikipedia says: Fufu is a staple food, common in many countries in Africa. It is often made with cassava and green Plantain Flour. Other flours, such as semolina, maize flour or mashed plantains may take the place of cassava flour. I was told it was a dish I would either hate or love, and I love it.
The first time I saw it prepared was with my host family. I was nervous to try it, so I delayed my tasting until a few weeks after we were settled. I was absorbed by the process of pounding the fufu: taking the yams and cassava and mashing them and folding air into them with the fufu stick. Now, it takes two to make fufu; you have a driver, one who adds and mixes the fufu in the round, and a pounder who drives the stick to break up the solid roots and make to produce a playdoh like consistency. As I have learned, women tend to be the drivers and men tend to be the pounder, but my host family switches up the roles.
Fufu is normally taken with a soup. Palm nut soup is my favorite but is, unfortunately, not as photogenic as I’d like it to be for a picture. Employees at the hospital and locals we meet are always eager to hear what local foods we have tried and what we have yet to try with our time remaining. Hoping all of my other international interns have been searching out local foods and soaking in some culture before returning home.