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AFCON 2023: 3 Foods You Should Taste While in Ivory Coast

Visitors must acclimate to the unique culinary traditions of other countries, particularly those in Africa, as both locals and tourists love them. This is especially true if continental specialties are easily accessible or prohibitively expensive. The 34th edition of the AFCON Confederation of African Football’s biannual African association football competition is currently underway, and it’s known as the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Côte d’Ivoire, also referred to as the Ivory Coast, is hosting it for the second time, and the first since 1984.

Indeed, Côte d’Ivoire is home to over sixty different ethnic groups, some of which are the Baoulé, Bété, Gouro, and Dioula. The country is also known for its rich cultural heritage. The Akan, Gour, Krou, and Mandé are the four primary ethnic groups. In the Ivory Coast, what kind of food is consumed? A wide range of ingredients, such as tubers, grains, pig, chicken, meat, shellfish, fish, fresh fruits, vegetables, and a variety of spices, are fundamental to Ivory Coast cuisine. The cuisines of Ghana and Nigeria, two nearby West African nations, bear significant resemblances to Ivorian culinary traditions, which are a complex blend of flavours and influences. Discover below three top Ivorian foods you should eat while in the Cocoa rich nation.

Jollof Rice

The debate over which country makes the best Jollof Rice – Nigeria, Ghana, or Ivory Coast – is a subject of much discussion and friendly rivalry among West Africans. Each country has its own unique style of preparing and seasoning Jollof Rice, and the debate over which is best largely comes down to personal preference.

Each country has its own unique style of preparing and seasoning Jollof Rice, and the debate over which is best largely comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer the spicier, tomato-based Jollof Rice from Nigeria, while others prefer the milder, smoky flavour of Ghanaian Jollof Rice. The Ivorian version, which often includes seafood and coconut milk, has its own distinct flavour profile.

The most common ingredients found in Jollof Rice include rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, salt, and pepper. On top of that, any kind of meat, vegetable, fish or spice can be added. It is important to have a delicious sauce, so in addition to tomatoes, there are also ingredients such as coconut milk, nutmeg, partminger (African basil leaf) and sometimes even Roiboos tea used in the sauce.


Grated cassava is used to make the popular dish Attiéké, which has a consistency and flavor remarkably similar to couscous. It is one of the most popular recipes in Côte d’Ivoire, especially in Abidjan. Abidjan, chief port, de facto capital, and largest city of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). It lies along the Ébrié Lagoon, which is separated from the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic by the Vridi Plage sandbar.

It’s made from fermented cassava, which is granulated so it becomes like couscous in texture. You usually eat it with your hands – just smush it into a ball and pop it in your mouth, similar to how the Indians eat rice and curry.

Attiéké is served with braised fish or meat, plantain, couscous, and cassava. Several variants have appeared over the years, among the best-known are: Abgodjama (more expensive than the traditional Attiéké as it is made from a high-quality variety of cassava), Attiéké Petit Grain (inexpensive and intended for trade, it is mainly found in markets) and Garba Attiéké (three times less expensive than traditional Attiéké; it is, as its name indicates, intended for garba consumption).

Foufou or Fufu

The role of fufu in Western and Central African food is analogous to that of mashed potatoes in classic American and European cooking. A staple of West and Central Africa, Foufou is a thick paste that is often created by pounding after boiling starchy root vegetables in water.

It is called Couscous in neighboring French-speaking Africa, but it is not at all like the couscous that Westerners are familiar with. In addition to the previously listed ingredients, cocoyams, rice, cassava flour, and maize can also be used to make Fufu.

This recipe is typically combined by Ivorians with a wide variety of foods, particularly stews, okra, hot pepper soup, and clear sauce. Since you will be using your hands to eat, don’t be shocked if the restaurant does not provide spoons or chopsticks when serving you.

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