The latest TikTok trend has seen the West African dish garner fufu lovers from L.A to El Paso, Texas and beyond.
Do you remember how, in the beginning of the pandemic, everyone was at home baking banana bread? Well, 12832 years into COVID-19's reign, and the cooking challenges are as fashionable as ever, the latest venturing over to West Africa.
The latest trend keeping the youths alive and well has presented itself in the form of West African (and globally) loved starchy dish, Fufu.
For the non-enlightened, we've published A Quick Guide to Fufu here. Fufu is a very popular dish made by pounding starchy foods (cassava, yam, plantain and any others) and mixing with hot water. The dish is said to have originated in Ghana, but is enjoyed across the West African region and across the continent. Fufu has also cropped up in several Caribbean countries including Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
@themomtrotter Here's how we eat Fufu & Soup, have you tried it? #fufu #nigerianfood #nigerians #nigeriantiktok #nigeria
♬ Steven Universe - L.Dre
Most trends happen randomly and this one is no different. Additionally, most trendy things coming out of Africa usually reach trend status when someone from the West says, "Woah, have you guys heard of this cool thing that I've just now discovered?", and this one is no different.
The originator of the #fufu trend, Joeneen Hull, was just trying out foods that she'd seen online people eating online, this time around Mukbangs of people eating popular West African cuisine. Speaking with the LA Times, the 31-year-old West Coast native couldn't take the cravings anymore and was committed enough to drive the 80 miles to her Nigerian restaurant choice. When finally presented with the warm spheres of flavor, Hull recorded her taste test for TikTok and, 6 million views later, we're now talking about this new TikTok trend.
As for West Africans and their reactions to the sudden sensationalism of a dish they probably were forced to eat from childhood, I'd say they're having a field day. Some fufu newbies are pleasantly surprised, pleasantly dissatisfied and others are just disrespectful. Social media users have been roasting recipes they deem unfit and celebrating recipes that I imagine resemble their own. "I think like most people, by looking at it, you come up with your own idea of what it will taste like," Hull says to LA Times, "And then once you taste it, it tastes absolutely nothing like that."
We've definitely seen an increased interest in African and Caribbean cuisine in Western Cultures over the years, and with #fufu videos on unbelievably popular app TikTok having amassed over 250 million views to date, we see the trends staying trendy.