Gambia has been adjudged the winner of the Jollof Rice Competition organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) as part of activities marking the Jollof Festival at the weekend.
The competition, which featured Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria and Senegal, formed part of the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, and Feel Ghana” campaign being championed by the GTA, under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts to promote local tourism on a global scale.
Gambia prepared the jollof rice without tomatoes but with mustard, fish and other ingredients, making their jollof yellowish-white as compared to Ghana, who used tilapia, tomatoes and other ingredients to make their jollof attractive and tasty, giving it a reddish colour.
The Nigerian and Senegalese chefs used ingredients they believed could make their jollof super and delicious but, unfortunately, they could not win.
The judges, who were drawn from Mexico and the Netherlands, said the judgment was based on criteria including presentation, aroma, and taste.
Mr Jan van der Veer, the lead Judge, told the GNA that the Gambians had “a fine presentation and a better taste for their jollof as compared to that of Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.”
He lauded the Tourism Ministry and the GTA for the innovative event adding that it was a great avenue to sell Ghana to the world.
The event was characterised by live-band music from the Ghana Immigration Service Band and the iconic Ghanaian female highlife Artiste, Akosua Agyapong.
Ms Felicia Aniagyei, the Acting Public Relations Manager of the GTA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the Jollof Competition, which falls under the “Eat Ghana” module, was to encourage Ghanaians to be proud of their local dishes and patronise them wherever they went.
She said the occasion was also used to showcase some locally made cuisines including Kenkey with fish and rice balls with groundnut soup.
This month has been dedicated to the “Eat Ghana” module while next month, September, would be for the “Wear Ghana” module, followed by the “Feel Ghana” in October.
Ms Aniagyei noted that engaging other African countries in the competition was to help showcase the varieties of jollof rice and deepen the relationship among the participating countries.
Some of the jollof prepared at the event included; Kontomire black eye bean Jollof, Smoked Tuna and Vegetable Jollof, Beef Jollof and Egg plant koobi Jollof.
Mr Lucky George, the Publisher of African Travel Times Magazine, said jollof rice originated from the Sene Gambia in the 19th Century before they separated to become two different countries.
There was also Chief Executive Officers’ (CEOs) challenge in the jollof rice competition, out of which Mr Seth Ocran, the CEO of Yorks Car Rentals, emerged the winner over Abeiku Santana of Kaya Travel and Tours and Mr Akwasi Agyemang of the GTA.