“Fufu!” Fadhili shouted again. That’s my favourite food.
“There’s no such food!” Jabali said, shaking his head. “Now you’re just making things up!”
It was a rainy Saturday afternoon at Doll Cottage, and the dolls were keeping busy with a game of Forgive Me Food. Each doll had a turn to say what their favourite food was.
It had to be food that was so delicious that they would forgive the other dolls for anything, if they brought this favourite food and said, “Forgive me please.”
The rules of the game? It had to be African food, and in alphabetical order.
“Forgive me please!” the dolls would yell. The doll whose turn it was would shout out their favourite food. If anyone couldn’t think of a food, they were out for the next round.
Jameela was first, and she had chosen Alloco, a sweet fried plantain snack from Cote d’Ivoire. Next was Jabali, and he had chosen Brik. This, caused an uproar.
“Bricks are not food!” one doll yelled. “They’re for building houses,” shouted another.
“Calm down!” Jabali shouted back. “Not bricks. Brik is a stuffed pastry from Tunisia. It’s delicious,” he said rubbing his tummy.
“What is it stuffed with?” Pendo asked, her eyes wide.
“It’s got all kinds of deliciousness,” Jabali said rolling his eyes and licking his lips. “Meat, cheese, fruit; whatever you like.”
Pendo was next. “Forgive me please!” the dolls shouted. This was her signal to shout out her favourite African food beginning with the letter ‘C’.
“Chakalaka!” Pendo yelled. The dolls burst into laughter. “There’s no such food!” Amani said. “You are cheating.”
“No I’m not!” Pendo said leaning forward with her hands on her waist. “All of you dolls have never been to South Africa, so I’ll forgive you for laughing in exchange for a bowl of Chakalaka. It’s a spicy, colourful stew made from vegetables like beans, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers,” she explained and sat down smiling.
“Okay, we believe you. Who’s next? Amani asked.
“Doll Lady’s next, then you, Amani”, Jameela said.
“Forgive me pleeeaase…” the dolls yelled, their eyes on Doll Lady, who was crocheting as usual.
“What letter are we on?”, she asked smiling.
“D,” they shouted.
“That’s easy…” she said raising her eyebrows. “Droewors! It’s a dried beef sausage from Southern Africa. I had it in Namibia, she explained quickly, before the dolls could protest.”
Next, Amani chose Enjera from Ethiopia. At least everyone had heard of this and Amani told them how the spongy, brown flat-bread was made using a type of flour called teff.
“Amani, are you sure Enjera starts with letter E, said Doll Lady. I believe it’s with an I. I see you sitting it out during the next round.”
“Come on Doll Lady, I had it. Don’t spoil the game”, said Amani cunningly.
So finally, here they were, with Fadhili shouting Fufu and the dolls not believing him.
Everyone was talking at the same time and it was getting really loud in the cottage.
“Forgive me PLEASE!” Doll Lady shouted, to get everyone’s attention. After what seemed like forever, they all quietened down and waited for her to talk.
“This is a lovely game”, she said. “We are all learning so much about African food.
Fufu is a real food from West Africa. It’s like Kenyan Ugali, except that Fufu is made from dried cassava flour and Ugali is made from dried maize flour. The dolls nodded and Fadhili smiled.
“Dolls,” she said, “I know none of you would really just forgive someone because they brought you food, right?”
“I forgive because I don’t like staying angry,” Jabali said.
“Me too,” agreed Amani.
“I forgive out of love,” said Pendo.
“I forgive because I just feel so much better when I do, but I don’t mind if someone brings me some Fufu a well,” added Fadhili, making everyone laugh.
Did You Know…
One of the most popular foods in Africa, and in the world, is the banana.
Did you know there are many types of ripe sweet bananas. They come in different sizes and skin colours like yellow, green and even red.
There are also many types of cooking bananas, called plantains, and many recipes for cooking them in different countries.
In Uganda Matoke is cooked by wrapping the plantain in plantain leaves and steaming, then mashing them. Some bananas are also used for making banana juice.
Food Alphabet Challenge
The dolls only got to Fufu in the food game. Help them play by thinking of delicious African food beginning with the other letters of the alphabet.
Bonus points if you forgive someone this week without them having to bring you food or do anything else for you.