Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Food Fight

There’s an ongoing debate among EWBers about which is best: TZ, banku, or fufu.

TZ, also called nshima in Zambia and pap in South Africa, is made from corn maize.  It’s similar to mashed potatoes (a white blob that tastes like nothing), except a million times heavier.

Banku is like TZ, but the corn maize is fermented.  It has the same consistency as TZ, although it has its own distinct flavour.

Fufu is made from pounded yams or plantains.  To my untrained palate, it has the same consistency as both TZ and banku, but with more flavour than TZ and less flavour than banku.

A meal is often a ball of one of these plus soup.  As far as I can tell, there’s green soup (with okra), red soup (spicy), and palm nut soup.  Sometimes the soups have chicken or fish added to them.

In other news, yesterday I found knockoff Ritz crackers in one of the stores in Tamale.  Normally I hate fake cheese-flavoured things, but these buttery crackers were like a little bit of Heaven.  I ate them with tomatoes.  It was delicious.


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3 thoughts on “Food Fight

  1. Hi! As an ProF in Malawi I thought I had better get in on the discussion. Malawi also eats nsima (religiously). There are two types the first is the one mentioned to be eaten in Zambia and is the most common. In some of the North they eat a nsima made with maize and cassava flour. Which is apparently very heavy to eat and harder to cook. Check out my blog for more information on Malawi nsima and my nsima challenge!

  2. patrickbvmiller on said:

    We used to debate whether Nshima was better than Nsima – but that was strictly phonetic, not flavorful.

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