National Unity: Food from the Mortar for One and All

One bright afternoon in a neighbourhood downtown Yaounde, I visit a family and I am greeted as I arrive the compound by a “gallery of mortars”, washed and left to dry under the sun.

What were the mortars used for? Of course to pound achu which will be eaten with yellow or black soup.

Achu and yellow (or sometimes black) soup is a Cameroonian delicacy originating from the North West Region.

Sometimes referred to as “one finger round the world”, achu is made up of pounded cocoyams (and unripe bananas) and a spicy yellow soup.

Over the years, Achu has become a delicacy for Cameroonians from all over the country.

The meal is available in restaurants across the ten regions of the country, making it a major Cameroonian delicacy.

Though achu is pretty popular in Cameroon, there are still some other meals that are eaten all over the country.

Such meals include koki, pomme pilé, ekwang, eru, mbongo chopi, nkok and mpu fish amongst others.

The unifying aspect of these dishes comes from the fact that be you Sawa, Grassfields, Sahel or Fang Beti (the four cultural zones of Cameroon), you will easily identify with these meals and comfortably eat them.

It is also commonplace to find these meals on menus across the country and even in Cameroonian restaurants overseas.

Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi

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