Which nation makes the best jollof rice?This simple question has grown into a fierce debate in some West African countries, where jollof rice is a national delicacy.
The celebration dish is hugely popular in countries such as Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cameroon.
The reddish one-pot dish is prepared with rice and tomato sauce with alternative ingredients that slightly vary by country.
This variation in recipes is perhaps at the root cause of this debate, which is a popular topic not only social media, but also street conversations.
And the debate doesn’t only find an audience amongst rice lovers or food bloggers, but even politicians, business tycoons and celebrities have entered the fray at their peril.
The Nigerian vice-president found himself having to defend his information minister Lai Mohammed in April this year after a misunderstanding over a comment the latter made about jollof rice.
The controversy began when a journalist asked Mr Mohammed which country makes the best rice. The minister understood the question to be about where jollof rice originated. So he replied Senegal.
The journalist later clarified the situation with a tweet, but despite his clarification and the Vice President’s defence, some Nigerians rebuked Mr Mohammed for what they regarded as a betrayal of the country’s cuisine.