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Sunday, December 3, 2023

UNESCO clears up jollof war between Ghana, Senegal, and Nigeria


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After crowning Senegal as the nation responsible for the famed West African delicacy in January of this year, UNESCO has now resolved a long-running dispute over jollof rice involving Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, and Cameroon.

The Senegalese Jollof distinguished itself from those of the other three nations, firmly establishing Senegal as the true source of the dish.

The dish was included in the UN cultural agency’s representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, demonstrating how Senegalese jollof rice may have influenced all other varieties.

Many think that this action ought to have put an end to the jollof debate years ago.

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Jollof is a dish made by combining rice with other ingredients, such as fish, tomatoes, and vegetables, and is thought to have originated in the fishing villages of Saint-Louis island in Senegal.

According to UNESCO, the dish is usually prepared with fish steak, broken rice, dried fish, mollusks, and seasonal vegetables like onions, parsley, garlic, chilli pepper, tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, white cabbage, cassava, sweet potato, okra, and bay leaf.

A common dish in many West African nations, jollof rice has been the focus of arguments on social media between Nigerians, Ghanaians, and Cameroonians, all of whom claim to be experts in the cuisine.

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However, UNESCO declared Senegal’s Ceebu Jen to be the best, adding that it is a part of their cultural heritage and ending a long-running argument.

Rice from Jollof has assimilated into the locals’ way of life. It is prepared with carrots and green beans and is frequently served with chicken or fish in Cameroon, where it is known as fried rice.

According to research by Conversation Africa, the development of colonial rule in West Africa between 1860 and 1940 is when Jollof rice first appeared.

French colonizers imported broken rice from Indochina to replace food crops during this time.

The dish known as Ceebu jn was created as broken rice eventually came to be valued more highly by the Senegalese than a whole grain of rice.

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