Monday, March 25, 2019

Evolution of Instant Fufu

There are several exciting signs in the culinary entrepreneurial world in Ghana. Here is one of them.

RE contemporary twists on traditional foods   

FUFU:  Making fufu the traditional way is wonderful, but strenuous and time-consuming. For a long time people have been trying to find ways to get the same taste and texture, but without all the pounding.

  1.  When I was married in Ghana, I carried a mortar and pestle back with me to the U.S. in a shipment, determined to continue to prepare my beloved groundnut and palm nut and light soups with fufu. Alas, the temperature and humidity changes caused the mortar to crack and with it my dreams of home-made fufu in the U.S. 
  2. But I discovered how to make American-style fufu using instant mashed potatoes and potato starch flour, and in February, 2007, convinced my friend, Dr. Naana Nti, to demonstrate proper technique for cooking it in a microwave, using my camera to create BETUMI's first video
  3. I also discovered actual "fufu powder." BETUMI's initial post on it was back in April, 2006, when I did a podcast with the Ashanti chemical engineer Yaw Adusei, who travelled to State College to introduce me to his Mama's Choice fufu flour (and incidentally, conduct a taste test with another leading brand).
  4. Over the years I experimented unsuccessfully with making fufu using plantain and cassava with a blender, or mashing it and stirring it. Last year I stumbled on Obapaa's terrific video demonstrating her technique of making microwave using a smoothie maker and raw cassava and green plantain! It was revolutionary, and soooo simple. I had always tried cooking the ingredients BEFORE blending them in a food processor or blender. She has given me permission to share it here:

The same day I saw her video I rushed out and bought some cassava (commonly called  yuca in our stores here) and green plantain. The result was enthusiastically approved by my husband.

5.  Early in 2019, during a trip to Ghana, he stopped in at the                  CSIR Food Research Institute store and picked up a few items,          including a plantain fufu flour with NO preservatives or coloring,        best prepared on a stovetop by adding water and stirring. Very          convenient if it is difficult to get fresh cassava, as it is in         Pennsylvania.  And I'm thrilled to get rid of those preservatives, and   extra ingredients.