31 Oct Jollof Wars: Where Did Jollof Rice Come From?
Every country has wars it fights. The US has ISIS and the war on drugs. Palestine has Israel. Well, in Nigeria, the war has always been Jollof rice and every country that had dared to stand up to claim patent of Jollof rice has always been the enemy.
Ghana will definitely remember The Great Jollof War of 2016. May the casualties of that war find peace. Even the Minister of Information and Culture was not spared after he tried to play the devil’s advocate by suggesting that Jollof rice did not really come from any of the warring countries but from Senegal. Oh, the memories of that war still keeps foodies up at night.
So, let’s end this war once and for all. Where did Jollof Rice come from? Do you want the bad news first or the bad news? Okay, bad news it is.
Jollof Rice did not come from Nigeria. It came from Senegal. The Minister of Information and Culture was right after all. I hope the truth and reconciliation committee that will be set up following this revelation make necessary apologies and reparations to the Honorable Minister.
Yes, Jollof Rice came from Senegal. In fact, the name Jollof derives from the Wolof people in the Senegambian region in the then Wolof Empire.
In Senegal, Jollof rice is called Benachin which means One Pot in Wolof. In Mali, it is called Zaame. In other French speaking countries, it is called Riz Au Gras.
Now that we have settled the origin, that Jollof Rice came from Senegal does not mean the best Jollof is from there, right? Nigeria can still lay claim to cooking the best Jollof, and Ghana? Well, Ghana should still be licking the wounds from the Great Jollof War of 2016 and should not be ready for another war anytime soon.
For now, Nigerian Jollof rules, origin or not. Do you know where you can have a taste of Nigerian Jollof and other Nigerian delicacies this week without crashing parties? It’s at the Porkoyum Food Festival holding this Saturday, November 3, 2018 at the Muri Okunola Park in Victoria Island. You should attend and let’s have some eating and of course, the heated food debates. To register, visit: http://www.porkoyum.