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Interesting and fun facts about Jollof Rice, a West African dish



Celebrating Jollof Rice Dish Google Doodle

Search engine giant Google is celebrating Jollof Rice, a quintessential West African rice dish simmered in reduced tomatoes, onions, peppers, and regional spices, with a Google video Doodle on November 4, 2022. Here is a quick look at interesting and fun facts you should need to know about Jollof Rice.

Quick Facts

Alternative names: Benachin, riz au gras, ceebu jën, zaamè
Type: Rice dish
Region or state: West Africa
Main ingredients: Rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, cooking oil, fish, lamb, goat meat, chicken, or beef

15 Interesting and fun facts about Jollof Rice

  1. Jollof, or jollof rice, is a rice dish from West Africa.
  1. The Jollof Rice dish is commonly made with long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, spices, vegetables, and meat in a single pot, despite the fact that its ingredients and preparation techniques fluctuate across various regions.
  1. The origins of jollof rice can be followed to the Senegambian region that was administered by the Wolof or Jolof Empire in the 14th century, spanning parts of today’s Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania, where rice was grown.
  1. The rice cuisine that is presently called jollof rice is originally from the Wolof tribe that cuts across the Gambia and Senegal.
  1. The Jollof Rice dish has its roots in a traditional dish called thieboudienne, containing rice, fish, shellfish, and vegetables.
  1. Jollof rice is one of the most well-known dishes in West Africa. There are a few regional varieties in name and ingredients; for example, in Mali, it is called zaamè in Bamanankan.
  1. The Jollof Rice dish’s most common name Jollof derives from the name of the Wolof people, however in Senegal and Gambia the dish is referred to in Wolof as ceebu jën or benachin.
  1. Jollof rice traditionally consists of rice, cooking oil, vegetables like tomato, onion, red pepper, garlic, ginger, and Scotch bonnet chilli peppers.
  1. To improve the colour of the dish, tomato paste (purée) is added. As a seasoning, spices, salt, stock cubes (a mix of flavor enhancers, salt, nutmeg, and herbs), curry powder, and dried thyme are used. To complement the dish, chicken, turkey, beef, or fish are frequently presented with the dish.
  1. Every West African nation has at least one variant type of dish, with Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cameroon especially competitive as to which nation makes the best Jollof.
  1. This is particularly noticeable between Nigeria and Ghana, in a rivalry dubbed the “Jollof Wars”.
  1. Since the 2010s there has been expanding interest in West African food sources in the western world.
  1. Jollof food festivals have been held in Washington, DC, in the US, and Toronto, Canada.
  1. “World Jollof Day” has been celebrated since 2015 on 22 August, getting some decent momentum via social media.
  1. On November 4, 2022, the Jollof Rice dish was honoured by Google with a Google Doodle on its homepage.

Google Doodle for Celebrating Jollof Rice

On 4th Nov 2022, Google featured a video Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Jollof Rice. Nigeria-based guest artist Haneefah Adam made the artwork and Senegalese jazz musician, Hervé Samb, made the soundtrack.

Google Doodle for Celebrating Jollof Rice

To celebrate jollof rice in true Google fashion, the organization enrolled the help of Haneefah Adam to make a stop-motion animation showing the simple preparation that goes into making the dish. The accompanying music was made by Senegalese jazz artist Hervé Samb.

In the Google video Doodle, get to watch as the simple ingredients of the dish — tomatoes, peppers, onions, spices, and more — get added to the central pot and progressively change into a tasty-looking dinner.

This isn’t the first time Google has placed food in the Doodle spotlight. In 2017, Google cooked up a slideshow to honor the rice noodle. In 2019, it made an animated Doodle highlighting falafel. What’s more, in 2021, Google celebrated pho, the aromatic and savory soup made popular in Vietnam.

However, if you would prefer to play with your food then read about it, Google baked up an interactive pizza puzzle game last year that challenges your slicing skills.

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