Today, Google is celebrating the highly loved jollof rice with Doodle on its homepage to appreciate farmers who plant and reap rice so that the meal can be prepared.
Although World Jollof Rice Day is on August 22, Google is celebrating the West African quintessential dish simmered in reduced tomatoes, onions, peppers and regional spices today because rice farmers plant and reap a bountiful harvest, and cooks across West Africa prepare to make fresh Jollof on this day.
Jollof rice is also known as benachin and thieboudienne. It is a one-pot meal that originated from the Wolof tribe in the 14th century according to Google.
The Wolof Empire, ruling parts of modern-day Senegal, The Gambia and Mauritania, popularized jollof throughout West Africa.
Nigeria-based guest artist Haneefah Adam created the artwork and Senegalese jazz musician, Hervé Samb, created the soundtrack used for the celebration.
“Although jollof rice was traditionally cooked with fish for dinner, Africans today also enjoy this savoury dish for breakfast and lunch, and often substitute fish with chicken, beef or goat.
Each country has added its own spin to the recipe and West Africans engage in humorous banter over who makes the best Jollof. These friendly rivalries, known as the ‘Jollof Wars’, have become an African cultural phenomenon.
Nigerians and Ghanaians are particularly competitive over who makes the best Jollof — and for good reason. There are distinct differences between the two cooking styles. For example, Nigerians use long-grain rice that absorbs more spices, while Ghanaians use basmati rice with a more aromatic flavour.
Who ultimately makes the best Jollof? No one can say for sure. The only way to find out is to try as many varieties as you can!”