Google prepares an animated doodle for West Africa’s Jollof Rice

Friday’s Google Doodle shines a light on jollof rice, a common West African dish with roots stretching back seven centuries that has sparked fierce rivalries between neighboring countries.

The dish – a mixture of long-grain rice mixed with simmered tomatoes, onions, peppers and regional spices – is often served with fish as an evening meal, although it is also enjoyed at other times of the day, the fish being replaced by chicken. , beef or goat. Friday’s animated Doodle shows the popular one-pot meal being prepared, one ingredient at a time, along with the desired center meat.

The dish’s name and origins date back to the 14th century, when the Jollof Empire ruled parts of today’s Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania. It is also known as benachin in Gambia and Senegal.

Each nation has its own variation of the dish, with each country vying to be known as the home of the best jollof in a friendly inter-nation rivalry known as the Jollof Wars. The competition is particularly tense and torrid between Nigerians and Ghanaians, who have distinct cooking styles, creating a cultural phenomenon that has spawned many viral music videos, songs and cuisines.

This isn’t the first time Google has put food in the Doodle spotlight. In 2017, Google concocted a slideshow to honor rice noodles. In 2019, he created an animated Doodle featuring falafel. And in 2021, Google pho celebratedthe aromatic and savory soup made popular in Vietnam.

But if you’d rather play with your food than read about it, Google cooked up an interactive pizza puzzle game last year that challenges your slicing skills.

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