17 janvier 2014

Ethiopia Food Highlights

I know, we have been quiet for a while. We hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year! Here in Africa, we're still alive and kicking, two countries further...

But everything in its time. For now, due to popular demand, let's end our entries for Ethiopia with a description of the food there.

To start with, we have to talk about the injera. It's the staple of Ethiopian food and is present in all the local meals, from breakfast to dinner. Basically, it's a kind of pancake made with fermented the, an indigenous cereal. It's a bit bitter to the taste which makes it go wonderfully well with the various wots, tibs and kitfo that are laid on it. The way to eat it is simply to tear a bit of the injera with your hand, grab something from the communal plate and bring to your mouth.

Some of our favorite accompaniments include the famous doro wot (chicken with berbere sauce, served with a boiled egg), beef or goat tibs (pieces of chargrilled meat in spices), kitfo (marinated minced meat, raw or warmed up) and, of course, our essential of road stops where we couldn't entirely trust the cooking: the shiro (a chickpea puree).

Now, even though the Ethiopian food was delicious, we must admit that we didn't feel like it for every meal. Fortunately, even though the Ethiopians fought hard against the invasion from the Italians throughout their history, they at least allowed their cuisine to be commonly available. This means that practically everywhere, we could find decent pizzas and good pastas with a bolognese sauce that could rival the best homemade one from Québec! Oh, there were also plenty of burger places, but after some experience with my head outside of a bus window for hours, we didn't feel like trying them too often... It didn't stop Geneviève to have the kitfo whenever she could!

One thing we found very different from our normal diet was the abundance of carbs in every meal. There was either injera or a lot of those sweet bread rolls. There weren't many veggies as well, despite the Ethiopians having two religious vegetarian fasting days every week. That was probably because their local crops was mostly limited to onions, tomatoes and cabbage.

One thing they we did enjoy a lot were the fruit juices. Again, the variety was limited to a few seasonal fruits: mango, papaya, banana and avocado, but they could turn those into tasty juices. Yes, even the avocado! My favourite was a mix of avocado and mango.

Talking about beverages, some other regulars included the famous Ambo, a sparkling mineral water that sparkled so much that every sip brought a mini shower to the face and St-George beer, the best one to our taste. By the way, if you travel to Ethiopia, steer clear of the wines!

Finally, we couldn't conclude this entry without talking about our highlight of Ethiopia (yes, probably even more than the Simien Mountains): Bunna! Coffee was discovered in Ethiopia and it is still very strong in their traditions. The best way to have it is definitely the traditional way, boiled in a ceramic pot over ambers and poured in a small drinking cup, often with plenty of sugar, while incense is burned to enhance the experience.

Injera with a selection of vegetarian dishes, served on fasting days. 
Kitfo and St-George beer. 
Spaghetti, sweet rolls and Ambo. 
Mixed fruit juice. 

5 commentaires:

Pas a dit...

Wow. That looks truly awesome :-)

Love your comment about the mini shower. Where to next?

Pas a dit...

p.s. Mo says "More food highlights please!" lol :-)

tinaliaquebec a dit...

miam miam le jus.
Le kitfo, non merci! Bien franchement, j'aurais été du genre à ne manger que ce qu'il y a sur le dessus du pain et pas le pain qui a l'air un peu mou, mais quand on a assez faim...
Merci pour la nouvelle entrée!

André Guay a dit...

Très intéressant l'info sur la bouffe Éthiopienne. Je ne suis pas certain que je voudrais essayer le kitfo à la viande crue, cuite OK mais pas crue.

leaf (the indolent cook) a dit...

Just catching up with the posts... loving all the delicious looking food in this one!