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Spotlight on Culture

People that call this area Home

New Americans

Immigrants from other areas of the world

The Liberian people

Cultural Profile of their country of origin- Liberia



Liberian Cuisine

Liberian cuisine is centered on the consumption of rice, cassava, plantain, yam, tropical fruits and vegetables (potatoes, greens, cassava leaf, okra, cabbage), as well as fish, meat, and more. They also have a tradition of baking, that includes cornbread, sour bread, rice bread, banana bread, and cakes. Their cuisine is a combination of the West African recipes and ingredients with the cooking traditions of the American South, of coastal West African and Creole. Most of them are stews that mix different kinds of meat or/and seafood with vegetables, in the way Creole food is prepared, but served with other ingredients that are traditionally West African.


Rice is a staple of the Liberian diet, and either served without a sauce (dry), with stew or soup poured over it, cooked into the classic Jollof rice, or ground into a flour to make Country Breh (bread). Rice is eaten for at least one meal of the day. Cassava is processed into several types of similar starchy foods: Fufu (made with a dried starch that is pounded and rolled into oval like discs), Dumboy (very similar to fufu but the cassava is boiled), and GB (or geebee). Eddo (taro root), fish and bushmeat (a delicacy), bananas, citrus fruit, mangoes, sweet or regular plantains, coconut, okra and sweet potatoes are also popular Liberian ingredients as well. Heavy stews spiced with habanero and scotch bonnet chilies are very popular and eaten with fufu. Potato greens, the leafy plant of the sweet potato, is widely grown and consumed, as is bitter ball (a small vegetable similar to an eggplant). Dried fish is usually added to the stews to give them flavor.


Other popular stews, referred to as "soups" are Torborgee, Bitter leaf, Cassava Leaf and Palava Sauce. Torborgee consists of African eggplants which are stewed and spiced with fermented palm oil. It is often bitter in taste and typically associated with the Lorma people inhabiting the area of Lofa. Bitter leaf, consists of bitter leaves mixed with grounded melon seeds. Cassava Leaf, referred to as "Gbassajama" is made from grounded cassava leaves which come from the yucca plant. The leaves are then braised and tenderized in a broth and mixed together with red palm oil stock. Palava Sauce is made with Jute leaves, also referred to as "Plateau", that are stewed in a broth.


Liberians produce, import, and consume standard beers and liquors, but they also make a traditional palm wine made from fermenting palm tree sap, which is popular. Palm wine can be consumed alone, used as a yeast substitute in bread, or used as vinegar after it has soured. A local rum is also made from sugarcane, and called "cane juice" or Gana Gana.


The Liberian Jollof rice won the 2021 Afrobeats Block Party cook-off in Washington, D.C.. The competition was put together by Afropolitan founder, Kweko Amoako. Competing countries were Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Nigeria.













To try these dishes without having to cook them, visit these restaurants in town:

A&E Liberian Restaurant and Liberian Merry Go Round African Restaurant


Stay tuned for more information on the Liberians and their culture, and more places and their people in future posts. Our area is blessed to be called home by many people of many cultures, and they deserve to be acknowledged.