February 2, 2007
In broken English the old mother explained that the only food she had to offer at her roadside stand was fufu, which is a local staple made from mashed root, like cassava or yam.
“You like fufu?” She seemed skeptical.
“I’ve never tried it,” I replied. “But I’d like to.”
Her eyebrows were raised, like she couldn’t believe she was having this conversation. She lifted up a basin from behind her table and showed me a white ball of dough. “That’s fufu.”
“Sure,” I said.
“You want it?”
She almost laughed, but shook her head instead. “How much you want?” I shrugged.
“Four thousand, five thousand…”
She cut a portion worth 5,000 cedis (about 50 cents) from the doughball. Then she started talking about sauces. I said I would trust her judgment. I walked away with two plastic bags, one with the doughy fufu, the other filled with warm goat stew.
Couldn’t wait to get home to try it; our first truly traditional Ghanaian meal. Trish ripped the doughball in half while I poured the stew into a bowl. The dough was very sticky, the meat very... goaty. I took a big whiff and then... best not to talk about what happened then. We gave it a good home. Where does food ever go, in the end?
We may or may not have finished fufu. There are no witnesses, no proof, so it's our word against nobody's. We followed up with Mr. Noodles, which were devoured ravenously, and may have helped to keep things, ahhh, regular. G.