Most Ghanaian meals are made up of a starchy base and a thick stew or soup. Popular starches in Ghana include fufu, composed of plantains, cassava or yams that are boiled and rolled into balls, and kenkey, a fermented cornmeal dumpling that is boiled or steamed in plantain leaves. Okra, fish, bean leaf, spinach and peanut all serve as bases for Ghana's notoriously spicy stews that are seasoned with spices such as cinnamon, cayenne or curry.
Other popular stews in the West African nation include "forowe," a fish-based tomato soup, and "plava," a thick, saucy soup that features chicken or fish. Rice is also used as a grain throughout the region, with "Jol lof" rice, featuring tomato sauce and meat, being particularly popular in Ghana's southern region. Spices, especially popular cash crops such as chili peppers and red peppers, are a very important part of Ghanaian cuisine's distinctive flavor.
People living in northern Ghana often make "pito," a fermented beverage derived from sorghum grain. Southern residents of the country prefer to make their own palm wine from fronds of various plants. These beverages are consumed at traditional ceremonies or colorful funerals in Akan society that take place throughout the year across Ghana.