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Ethiopia Food & Drinks


  • Ethiopian coffee roasted in a traditional way
  • Coffee beans

Food

Due to its isolation from Europe, the cuisine of Ethiopia developed very unique styles and tastes.  The dishes of Ethiopia traditionally consist of vegetables and very spicy meats.  When eating together, Ethiopians tend to eat off of one large circular plate and only eat and pass food with their right hands.  As religion plays a major role in the daily life of the country, fasting is observed at various times during the year.  On Wednesdays and Fridays and during Lent, Orthodox Christians do not eat meat, while both Orthodox Christians and Muslims do not eat pork.  As mentioned, dishes can be very spicy and this is a result of Berbere which is a common spice used in many recipes.  It consists of chili powder combined with other spices to create varying levels of heat.

 

Popular dishes include:

Injera: This is a national staple of Ethiopia and is part of almost every meal.  It is a round pancake thin bread that has a slightly sour taste.  It is made from an endemic grain called teff and acts as a plate with food served on top.  It is then torn and used to pick up the various dishes served on top of it.  

Wat: This is Ethiopia’s version of curry.  When it is spicy, injera helps to take the heat off.  As with curry around the world, there are various types including bege (lamb), bure (beef), figel (goat), and the most popular of all, doro (chicken).

Minchet abesh: This is a thick stew made with minced meat and served with a hard-boiled egg on top.

Ayibe: This is Ethiopian cottage cheese that has a similar consistency to feta cheese.  Like injera, it is served as a side dish to offset the heat of spicy meals.

Enkulal tibs: This is a breakfast dish in Ethiopia that consists of scrambled eggs mixed with peppers, tomatoes and onions.  It is served with bread.

 

Drink

Local dry red wines include Dukam and Goudar while Axumite is a sweet red wine.  Crystal is a dry white wine made in Ethiopia.  St. George, Harar and Castel are beers native to Ethiopia while Talia is a barley beer.  It is said that Ethiopia, more specifically the province of Kaffa, is the home of coffee.  It is traditionally served thick and sweet and coffee ceremonies are very important in the country.

Things to know:

A service charge of around 10% is traditionally added to bills and patrons can add an additional tip on top of the service charge.

Drinking age:

18 years old.


 


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