They say, in some parts of Africa, you haven’t really eaten until you’ve eaten fufu.
Fufu is flour and water boiled and stirred just about to the point that your arm breaks off. It is served with small bits of meat in savory sauce. With bare hands you pinch off a bit, swipe through the meat, and enjoy. Perhaps not what we would call hygienic but communal.
I have eaten. Oh, I’d eaten before, as I’m sure you have. One look at the lumbering, rotund masses and you know Americans have eaten and eaten well.
I ate fufu though, shared a table with a man previously unknown to me, an acquaintance. We shared that humble meal, some laughs, and deep thoughts on God, family, and country. I left him a brother, relations from different continents.
So many years hence, the taste is on my lips—the fufu lingering in the pit of my mind, a repast for the soul. The filling came not from the consuming of food but from the shared time and space, a feeling of family.
I know not where he is. I miss him and the fufu.