Today, the Google.com homepage logo is dedicated to jollof rice, one of the most iconic foods of West Africa.
Jollof rice is a one-pot dinner made with beef, chicken, or fish that traces its roots to an older seafood-based dish known as thieboudienne. The cuisine takes its name from its origins in the Wolof Empire — “Jollof” is an alternate spelling of “Wolof” — which encompassed parts of what is now The Gambia, Mauritania, and Senegal. From there, the dish spread throughout West Africa, becoming a common choice for holidays, celebrations, and get-togethers of all varieties.
The popularity of jollof rice didn’t stop there, though. Some experts believe that jambalaya — a staple of Louisiana cuisine and one of my personal favorite dishes — took much inspiration from the earlier West African dish. More recently, fans of the meal have taken to celebrating “World Jollof Day” on August 22 of each year.
To celebrate jollof rice in true Google fashion, the company enlisted the help of Haneefah Adam to create a stop-motion animation showing the simple preparation that goes into creating the dish. The accompanying music was created by Senegalese jazz artist Hervé Samb. In the 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 gradually transform into a tasty looking meal.
This is a celebration of culture—not just my culture, but of everyone who recognizes food as a conduit. The diversity of how we approach food is really interesting—like how the preparation of Jollof is different in Nigeria vs. Senegal (they even have different names). This just goes to show the richness and beauty of our collective culture as a continent.
— Haneefah Adam
Jollof rice recipes
If today’s Google Doodle has your mouth watering, it’s actually quite easy to make jollof rice at home. And since each region’s variation will taste quite different from one another, you may want to try more than one recipe to see which one you like more. Here are a few recipes we found around the internet. If you try one, be sure to let us know in the comments how it turned out!
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