Wednesday, December 26, 2012

food in ethiopia.

oh, yum. even just thinking about ethiopian food makes my mouth water. let's go on a little culinary journey, shall we?

(the "meet" sauce is always a good choice :)

one 100% cannot drink any sort of tap water in ethiopia. even when brushing our teeth, we had to rinse with water out of water bottles. i admit there were several times when i was at the faucet after brushing & almost forgot to grab the water bottle. but luckily for us all, i always remembered to grab a water bottle at the last second. anyways, our hotel, restaurants, & everywhere provided everyone with water bottles all the time, which was nice, right?

because most ethiopian food is eaten without silverware, many places will provide some way for people to clean or wash hands before and after eating. restaurants will either pass around a platter of hot, wet washcloths beforehand or, in the case of the restaurant we went to, have a sink out front with communal soap. at another place we ate at, after we finished eating a man came around & poured water on our hands from a teapot into a bowl. here we are washing at the aforementioned communal sink, with ben looking model-esque & me generally looking somewhat poop smear-ish (i tend to go very spartan when i travel, okay?? lands, i only brought a carry-on!).

almost every place we went to into ethiopia, whether it was our hotel, restaurants, or others, had welcome mats. kind of cute!

there are two beverages people drink in ethiopia: bottled water & soda. there are only a few kinds of soda in ethiopia: coke, pepsi, 7up, fanta, mirinda, & maybe one or two others.

the most traditional & commonly-eaten type of ethiopian food is injera - we ate it almost every day in ethiopia (ben especially loved!). 

a large platter will have a bed of injera, which is a thin, flimsy type of bread, somewhat similar in idea to a tortilla, made out of a type of ethiopian grain. on top of this bed of injera will be various piles of food: different types of meat like lamb or pork, spicy refried beans-type food, sauces, & always some kind of vegetable like beets, potatoes, or sautéed-type cabbage or kale or the like. & then, each person will receive their own individual plate of more injera (or extra will be rolled up around the edge of the plate, like in the picture below), which you rip into individual shreds & use to grab up little bits of food. it's such a fun experience to eat food this way, with your hands & ripping the injera, etc, & the little piles of food are always delicious.

here we've got some pork, some lamb & green beans mixture, the yellow potatoes in the background, some cottage-cheese type stuff there in the white, & others. so yummy!

& here's ben starting to rip up the injera to grab the food. this food can be ordered either in smaller, individual plates or, as in these pictures, for larger groups of people to be shared family-style. we shared this platter between 4 people & we even had a little bit left over.

moral of the story? not only is ethiopian food on the whole delicious, it's also a fun group eating experience. try it if you ever get the chance! (or come to new york! we'll take you out to some ethiopian restaurants :)

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