The social media App known as Tiktok, became increasingly popular during the pandemic, as most people used the App and its ever increasing trends to pass time, kill boredom and keep company; and since then Tiktok has remained relevant and one of its very recent trends on Fufu, has introduced the west African staple, to millions of willing food lovers globally.
Now, “foodie TikTok,” as it’s called, has rallied around a West African dish called fufu. Nigerian chef Joyce Etimsaid fufu; a soft, spongy, stretchy dough — is one of the most common foods in the region.
Some people on TikTok say the finished product from all the pounding of the cassava dough; looks like mashed potatoes. But you don’t eat it with a spoon; instead, Etim said fufu becomes the spoon.
“You fetch just a little portion, just like a small ball,” she said. “And you mold it with your hand. Then, you make a dent with your finger. Then, you dip it inside the soup. As you dip it inside the soup and place it in your mouth, you’re supposed to, like, lick your finger.”
There are many variations of fufu which can be made from yam, cassava or cornmeal with the preparation typically depending on the region.
TikTok videos tagged #fufu have been watched more than 310 million times. All this attention on such a staple dish is something Nigerian chef Lola Osinkolu never expected.
“Of all dishes — we have our rice meals, we have beans, we have everything — it’s fufu that’s trending,” Osinkolu said.
Most TikTok fufu reviews are positive. Users gush over its consistency and taste, while also showing excitement for finding local West African restaurants.
While many videos seem to show individuals having their tastebuds tantalized, Twitter users took to the platform to express their disappointment by calling out those participants who recorded themselves tasting and spitting out the fufu. Many have deemed the challenge unnecessary and disrespectful to African cultures.