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Food Tourism: Fufu’s Gone Global!

Videos of foreigners trying out African dishes have been trending on social media. One of such dishes is fufu. Tik Tokers went on a craze with the Fufu Challenge. Some were ecstatic about adding a new meal to their list of international cuisine conquest, others were rather rude. The positive side of the challenge is the fact that eating fufu became a global trend. And some who had it on their menu made some cool cash from the fufu challenge.

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For people who have never heard of fufu and want to know more about this West and Central African dish, we are here to serve. The first thing you need to know about this dish is that it is believed to have originated in Ghana. It became known when powdered cassava flour was packaged and sent to Ghanaians in the diaspora.

Fufu is a continental staple in Africa. People in countries like Togo, Benin, Liberia, Cameroon, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo eat it. We can also find it in the Caribbean among nations like Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Each region prepares theirs in a different way and has local names by which they call it.

Fufu is popularly called akpu in Nigeria. It is made from cassava and paired with a bowl of soup. Quite on the contrary, fufu (and many African meals) is eaten with bare hands and without the aid of cutlery.

Also, we classify it as a swallow, because you have to mould a part of it in your palm into a small ball to dip into the soup before you swallow it. If you see people chewing when eating a meal of swallow, they are probably chewing on the condiments in the soup like the vegetable, or assorted meat and fish.

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We eat fufu with soups like egusi, ogbono, banga, seafood okra, nsala, and vegetable soup. It is low in cholesterol and makes for a great vegetarian diet.

This is one meal we encourage every visitor to Nigeria to try out at least once in their lifetime. You can’t visit Nigeria without a food tour. Experiencing a wide variety of foods Nigeria offers tourists is the stuff of legends. Our foods can be hot (peppery) so you have to be open-minded and adventurous to try it.

While the new wave of social media influencing social eating habits is intriguing, it comes as no surprise. Scientific studies in journals like the Appetite show that social media plays an important role in shaping consumers’ eating behaviours. People will consume more of a particular food when it is posted by their circle of friends on the internet.

Let’s not focus on the negative reactions of those who did not like fufu. Rather, we should use social media to educate the world on how to eat and incorporate African delicacies into international menus. At least now we know one way to do it, through trending food challenges like the Fufu Challenge.


@misskeke – TikTok

@itslovelymimi – TikTok

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Ann Esievoadje

Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at You can reach her at

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