International Fufu Day Date in the current year: August 11, 2022

International Fufu Day International Fufu Day is observed by people of West African descent and those who like West African and Caribbean cuisines on August 11. The holiday was created to celebrate an indigenous West African dish found in the cuisines of over a dozen countries.

Starchy root vegetables such as cassava, sweet potatoes, taro (cocoyams), and yams are a staple in West African countries. Cassava, yams and sometimes cocoyams are used to make fufu (also spelled foufou, foofoo or fufuo), one of the most representative dishes of West African cuisine.

Fufu is commonly associated with Ghana, but it is also widely cooked and consumed in Angola, Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Fufu is usually made from boiled cassava or yams that is sometimes mixed with unripe plantain, cocoyams, or cornmeal. There are versions of fufu made from fermented cassava dough (this variation is particularly popular in Nigeria), maize flour, semolina, rice, mashed plantains, and even instant potato flakes.

In Ghana, the vegetables are pounded together in a wooden mortar, resulting in a soft and dough-like mass. It is the traditional way of cooking fufu; easier ways to make it are to mix the vegetables in a food processor or to use readily available powdered versions of the ingredients that are supposed to be mixed with hot water.

Fufu is usually eaten with fingers and served with soups, stews and sauces. Soups that can accompany fufu include palm nut soup, peanut soup, pepper soup, tomato soup, okra soup, cocoyam leaf soup, draw soup (made from okra or ewedu leaves), egusi soup, ogbono soup, and more. Fufu also can be served with groundnut stew (maafe) and okra-based stews.

West African slaves brought fufu with them to the Caribbean, where it was integrated into eclectic Caribbean cuisine. The dish retained its original African name in Cuba and Panama, but has become known as hudut in Belize, cayeye in Colombia, angú in Costa Rica, mangú in the Dominican Republic, bolón in Ecuador, tacacho in Peru, and mofongo in Puerto Rico.

Caribbean variations of the dish are different from the original West African fufu. They are often made from plantains or breadfruit and have a firmer texture and a stronger flavor. In fact, the further from Cuba, the more consistent the texture.

International Fufu Day is celebrated in August because this is the month when the New Yam Festival of the Igbo people takes place throughout West Africa. The holiday is promoted by the Art of Fufu, a Houston-based organization that aims to educate the United States and the world about this delicious dish and the rich traditions of West African cuisine.

You can observe the holiday by going out to a restaurant that serves fufu and other signature dishes of West African cuisine. Pair fufu with different sauces, soups and stews to figure out which combination you like best. And don’t forget to share photos of your meal on social media with the hashtag #InternationalFufuDay to spread the world about the holiday.

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Category

International Observances, Unofficial Holidays

Tags

International Fufu Day, international observances, unofficial holidays, West African cuisine, Caribbean cuisine