The United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO on Wednesday added a Senegal national dish, rice-and-fish platter called “thiebou dieune”, to its cultural heritage food list.
Senegal’s culture ministry applied to include the dish, which is widely consumed in the West African country, on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in October.
“Thiebou dieune” means “rice with fish” in Senegal’s dominant Wolof language. It is often prepared with vegetables such as a cassava or tomato, and served at lunch.
The northern Senegalese city of Saint-Louis is believed be the birthplace of the dish.
The city, whose old centre is itself a UNESCO World Heritage site, borders the Atlantic Ocean and hosts a thriving fishing community.
“The recipe and techniques are traditionally passed down from mother to daughter,” UNESCO stated, adding that the dish is traditionally eaten with hands.
Thiebou dieune — also spelled “Ceebu jen” in Wolof — joins other food-related items on the UNESCO list, such as the art of Neapolitan “Pizzaiuolo”, and couscous culture in Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.