Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Ami Mehl, has picked Ghana’s jollof over that from Nigeria.
“I think that your jollof is better than the Nigerians,” he told Moro Awudu on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Monday, October 23, when he appeared as a guest ahead of the Israeli Cultural Week which starts from October 26th and ends on November 1st, 2017.
Jollof rice is one of the most common dishes in Western Africa and is consumed in Senegal, The Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Cameroon, Mali, and Ghana.
The dish consists of rice, tomatoes and tomato paste, onions, salt and spices such as nutmeg, ginger, scotch bonnet and chilli peppers. Optional ingredients such as vegetables, meat or fish may be added. Due to the tomato paste, the dish is always reddish.
Different countries prepare it differently, and Mr Mehl is of the view that the Ghanaian method of preparing the dish is far superior to that of Nigeria.
He says he eats the Ghanaian version of jollof frequently as there is no similar dish like that in Israel.
Mr Mehl is not the only diplomat who has given a thumbs up to Ghana jollof, as the immediate past British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, also stated in May, 2017 that he enjoys telling his Nigerian friends Ghanaian jollof is tastier than Nigerian jollof.
In a response to a tweet on what his favourite Ghanaian dish was, the British diplomat tweeted back: “Ghanaian jollof rice. Which I especially enjoy telling Nigerian friends. The GH version is of course the superior one.”
Mr Mehl said to strengthen relations between the two countries, “We are dedicating the last week in October, which is from 26th October to 1st November 2017, to celebrate a fusion of Israeli and Ghanaian Cultures through arts, music, fashion, food and wine”.
He said funds were expected to be raised from the event in aid of fistula patients in Ghana.
The event, a collaboration between the Embassy of Israel, the Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City-Accra, and some Israeli partners in Ghana, would take place at the Kempiski Hotel in Accra.
It would show-case Israeli culture through a number of activities, including a show by International Flutists, Mattan Klein; a show by Israeli Fashion Designer-Betty Eldad; as well as Ghanaian designer Royal Dennis, amongst others.