Fufu, the marvelously mouth-watering delicacy that is beloved by West Africans, now has its own holiday — National Fufu Day on August 11. This day honors fufu as it takes its place among the world’s most iconic cuisines. Coinciding with West Africa’s traditional yam festival, which takes place every year in August, the region’s rainy season is the perfect time to celebrate this wonderful finger food.
The traditional recipe for fufu uses true yams, which are boiled and then pounded in a wooden mortar and pestle until a smooth and sticky dough is formed. The tart and sour flavor of pounded starches pair well with full-bodied and well-seasoned meat and vegetable dishes.
As the popularity of fufu grows internationally, it becomes more important for everything concerning fufu to be readily available, including how to make it and where to buy it. Luckily, hungry connoisseurs and fufu enthusiasts alike can check out the book called “The Art of Fufu,” written and compiled by Grubido. The book aims to shine a light on this traditional staple dish, which is a favorite in its native region of Africa and in the Caribbean, and is now beginning to appear on menus all over the world.
History of National Fufu Day
The yam is a very important food crop in West Africa. Not only are yams revered for their nutritional value and taste, but their cultivation also holds cultural, religious, and social significance to different ethnic groups and regions. One dish that has yams as its main ingredient is fufu. Widely believed to have originated in Ghana, where it is considered a staple, fufu is among the most enjoyed staple dishes in West Africa, making its appearance on tables in Ghana, Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Cameroon, and Mali. It spread to the Western Hemisphere during the colonial period, becoming a favorite dish in Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico.
As fufu has spread throughout the continent and made its way across the world, several variations have developed. Other starchy produce, such as cassava, malanga, plantains, maize, and semolina, has been used in recipe variations. Fufu is usually served with a bowl of savory soup or stew and the composition varies regionally.
However, one thing that all the variations have in common is you simply have to eat fufu with your hands to enjoy it fully and authentically. A bite-sized morsel of dough is pinched off, rolled into a ball, and then indented with your thumb. This tiny crater is created to hold the sauce or stew that the dough ball is then dipped into. Savor the explosion of textures and flavors — this is how you eat fufu like a pro!
National Fufu Day timeline
Yam cultivation is widely recognized as a practice indigenous to Africa, tropical America, and Asia.
Portuguese traders introduce fufu after landing in Ghana, where the locals name it ‘fufuo.’
Grubido publishes the book “The Art Of Fufu”, a complete guide to the West African delicacy and the traditions surrounding it.
National Fufu Day is celebrated for the first time.
National Fufu Day FAQs
What is fufu made of?
The main ingredients used to prepare variations of fufu are yams, cassava, and plantains, which are boiled, pounded, and rounded into pockets.
What does fufu taste like?
Fufu can be best described as sour, or tart.
What are other names for fufu?
Fufu is also called fufuo, foufou, sakora, and couscous de Cameroun.
How To Celebrate National Fufu Day
What better way to celebrate the holiday than by indulging in rich and tasty fufu? First-timers, you’re in for a treat!
Try variations of fufu
Get together with friends or family and head over to an African or Caribbean restaurant to eat fufu. Pair it with different soups or a different stew than what you usually enjoy fufu with.
Spread the word
Why should we keep this incredible dish all to ourselves? Share your fufu meals with others on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms.
5 Flavorful Facts About Fufu
That’s a lot of yams
Approximately 54 million tons of yams are cultivated in the “yam belt” of sub-Saharan Africa.
Yam varieties mean different fufu types
There are more than 150 varieties of yams available around the world.
Fufu is healthy
It is packed with fiber and potassium, and has low cholesterol levels.
Fufu aids in digestion
The starch in the dish aids in digestion by reducing inflammation.
Preparation is the key
Grounding with a pestle and mortar is the stage that defines how good the fufu will turn out.
Why We Love National Fufu Day
Fufu is tasty
You need to try it to see what you’re missing out on. Fufu is amazingly delicious!
Fufu is healthy
We love it when we can overindulge in our favorite dishes, and it’s alright because fufu is full of great, beneficial nutrients. It can be enjoyed by just about everyone.
Fufu is more than just food
Fufu is more than just a delicious meal. Fufu is a testament to the great cultures and traditions of Western Africa and other regions around the world where the dish has become a staple now.
National Fufu Day dates