Photo Credit: Reddit
Trader Joe's Unveils New Instant Jollof Rice Mix And The Ancestors Are Not Pleased
Jollof rice wars are a serious matter. People from West African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, and even Senegal all claim that they in fact prepare the best jollof rice on the planet. But, as of this week, popular grocery store chain Trader Joe’s has decided to enter the chat.
Let’s just say, the ancestors and social media are not pleased.
Making jollof rice is a labor of love. Aunties spend hours in the kitchen preparing the spicy rice dish that has its roots in West Africa. Of course, there are many ways to prepare it but— it is typically made with long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, spices, vegetables and meat in a single pot.
The new Trader Joe’s version comes in a well-branded package featuring what appears to be an African print while doting the words “spicy jollof season rice mix with diced tomatoes, onion, and garlic.”
“Made for us by a supplier whose founders grew up in Nigeria, and found their grocery store Jollof options in the States decidedly wanting, Trader Joe’s Spicy Jollof Seasoned Rice Mix gives you everything you need to make a steamy, satisfying plate of Jollof in a matter of minutes,” the Trader Joe’s website reads. “All you need on your end is some water, a bit of butter, a bit of salt, and either a microwave or a pot on the stovetop.”
Of course, Black Americans and West Africans living in the US caught wind of the news and well, they were not having it.
Popular camping chef and influencer Kena Peay did a video unveiling the new product after a recent visit to her local TJ’s.
“Trader Joe’s, I love y’all but this Jollof rice stove type situation makes me so uncomfortable,” she wrote in her hilarious caption. “My friend @ifyozoma has made me Jollof before, and it’s incredible. I’ve also made it, and it’s delicious but takes time and the thought of making it from a package in 20 min ain’t it.”
Some of her followers decided to weigh in on the new “instant” option as well.
“No one is safe! Not even Jollof,” @dogatemycode said.
One commenter, decided to choose violence in the comments: “Trader Joe’s Jollof is like Nigerian’s attempt at Jollof Rice! There I said it!!”- @peace.love.sika.
The news of this new take on the West African dish also made its way to a Reddit thread.
“As a Nigerian, I’m offended,” a poster shared. “I want to buy this to see what they think jollof rice is supposed to taste like, but as someone who makes jollof rice from scratch, I feel like this will be another TJ’s pho disaster.”
Now, we haven’t tried it yet, so we can’t make any conclusions. But, TN fam, do you think the Trader Joe’s jollof will be a hit? If so, are you trying it?