Known around the world for its tumultuous history, Liberia, meaning “Land of the Free,” has been making big strides in the last decade toward becoming a land of holiday villas, beautiful beaches, and rare ecological paradises. Subsequently, according to Index Mundi, the country’s tourism industry now generates upwards of $232 million annually, and it’s set to rise substantially over the next five years.
While Liberia is known for its holiday villas, its amazing historical attractions, like the Liberian National Museum, and unique opportunities to explore unspoiled rainforest, its food is quickly becoming the talk of its many tourists. If you’re planning on escaping to one of the country’s holiday villas and living in the lap of luxury, even if only for a day or two, here are four Liberian foods you simply must try.
With the consistency of uncooked bread, fufu is a bit unsettling to eat at first for foreign tourists. Generally made out of cassava root, variations are also crafted using plantains, corn, and yams, according to Food in Every Country. Regardless of its ingredients, fufu is often served with soup or dishes using sauce, giving diners the ability to sop up the often spicy liquids and enjoy their flavors as they mingle with the slightly sweet fufu. Whether you’re ordering from luxury villas’ room service menus or you’re in a restaurant, you can’t help but come across this food.
- Beef Internal Soup
Although beef internal soup has a name that’s intimidating enough to scare away many tourists, this dish, made up of beef, tripe, and dried fish, becomes an instant favorite for anyone brave enough to try it. According to CeltNet Recipes, this traditional Liberian dish is built upon a spicy tomato, onion, and chili sauce, adding some kick to temper the flavors of its stronger ingredients, e.g. tripe. Fufu is a perfect accompaniment for this classic West African dish.
- Anything with Palm Butter
As The New York Times writes, palm butter is often considered to be the national dish of Liberia. Made by extracting a buttery liquid from mashed up palm nuts, palm butter is added to steamed crawfish, chicken, and other proteins, as well as being served with the ubiquitous fufu. With a unique but distinctly buttery flavor, palm butter goes well with just about anything you can find to eat in Liberia, at its famed beach resorts or elsewhere.
- Ginger Beer
Everybody knows that anyplace you visit can only be made better with great beer. As the University of Pennsylvania writes, Liberia is certainly no exception to this rule. Using a flash-fermented mixture of ginger, pineapple, yeast, molasses,and water, Liberian ginger beer is generally made from scratch. This is important to know as what you order at your holiday villa is likely to be different from what you order at a local restaurant. Everybody has their own favorite version.
As you can see, Liberia offers some amazing, unique dishes to its residents and visitors. Whether you plan to stay on your holiday villa’s beach and eat from the room service menu or you plan to explore the eateries of Monrovia, these are just four of the best Liberian dishes you must try. More.