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Plantain Foo-foo

Plantain Foo-foo

Photo by Cynthia Nelson

Foo-foo is any ground provision or combination of ground provision that has been boiled, pounded or mashed and formed into balls.

Foo-foo is one of those foods that came to the Caribbean through the region's African descendants. This hearty dish though not made as often these days is very much a part of the Caribbean's cuisine.

Types of Foo-foo

The types of Foo-foo are based on the main ingredient being used to make the Foo-foo. The following list of ground provisions indicates the type of Foo-foo that's made.

  • Plantain

  • Cassava (yucca)

  • Eddoes (taro)

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Yams

  • Tania (malanga)

Traditionally, Foo-foo was made using a large wooden mortar and pestle. These days, if one does not own a mortar and pestle (wood, granite or other), a regular potato masher is used. However, a mortar and pestle is the ideal tool to use as the ground provision is a lot sturdier than English potatoes and so the force and stability that a mortar and pestle provides, eludes a potato masher.


Foo-foo when made can be put into soups in the final stages of the soup cooking. One of the traditional ways it is served in Africa and in the Caribbean is accompanied by a stew. It can be a meat stew or a vegetable stew. Foo-foo is designed to accompany a dish that has a lot of sauce.

Foo-foo is also meant to be eaten with your fingers, a spoon and knife and fork are substitutes that work too. To eat, you break off a piece of Foo-foo, and dip it into the sauce and eat. You alternate by take some of the Foo-foo and pressing it against a piece of meat and eating.

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