Why is fufu called swallow?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

In Nigeria, fufu is commonly referred to as “swallow” because of the way it is consumed. Unlike other foods that require chewing, fufu is typically swallowed whole. This unique way of consuming fufu is what led to its nickname as “swallow.”

Fufu is a staple food in many Nigerian cultures and is made from starchy root vegetables such as yam, cassava, or plantain. The process of making fufu involves boiling the root vegetables until they become soft and then pounding or mashing them into a smooth, dough-like consistency. This dough is then formed into small balls or portions, which are served alongside various soups or stews.

When it comes to eating fufu, the traditional method involves using your hands. A small portion of fufu is taken and rolled into a ball using your fingers. It is then dipped into the soup or stew and swallowed without chewing. The texture of fufu is soft and smooth, making it easy to swallow.

The term “swallow” is a fitting description for this style of eating fufu because it emphasizes the action of consuming the food without chewing it. It is a quick and efficient way of enjoying fufu, allowing for a continuous flow of food without having to pause for chewing.

The nickname “swallow” is widely recognized and used in Nigerian households and restaurants when referring to fufu. It has become a part of the local culinary language and serves as a convenient way to describe this specific type of food.

Interestingly, the concept of “swallow” extends beyond just fufu in Nigeria. It is also used to describe other similar foods that are consumed in a similar manner, such as pounded yam, amala, and semovita. These foods share the characteristic of being swallowed without chewing, hence the use of the term “swallow” to describe them collectively.

Fufu is called “swallow” in Nigeria because it is consumed by swallowing it without chewing. The term has become a common and convenient way to refer to this type of food and is widely used in Nigerian culinary culture. So, the next time you hear someone in Nigeria talking about “swallow,” you’ll know they are referring to the beloved fufu.