Sunday, 17 October 2010

Fun with Fufu

I want to introduce you to what is perhaps the one dish that strikes a vivid and often cold twinge of nostalgia in me: fufu. Commonly mispronounced, 'foofwee' as it is called, manifested itself in a kind of mini panic attack, when my Mum would announce this 'delicacy' at oft dinner times. I recall as a kid being served huge bowls of this peculiar white mass of tasteless rubber. I always resisted, I threw a tantrum, I even tried to hide the stuff in the baggy pouches of my five year old cheeks, but my Mum always found a way to get me to eat it; namely through bribery, with the alluring promise of a Toffee Crumble or a Fab (remember those?) They never materialised and you'd think I would have sussed out my Mum's cunning fufu ruse; but no, I ate the stuff with full, gullible gusto. I never quite understood why my Mother refused to eat it herself?

 Now, I can fully appreciate how tasty and versatile fufu is; it is the essential carbohydrate to accompany many a stew or soup from Groundnut to light soup or okra stew. Fufu is prepared from pounded cassava, plantain or yams in a giant pestle and mortar with two people, one to flip the mixture over and one to pound the dough as it thickens. It takes absolute concentration in addition to a complete trust in the person pounding the dough (the picture below sums up that point quite nicely!) What do you think? Is fufu capable of making it to household tables nationwide?