Editor’s Update: Andrew Zimmerman of Travel Channel recently visited Ethiopia to explore their food, culture and people…http://bit.ly/bl6bF
I too, like to live dangerously. So when what looked like a pile of baby pooh was put before me… I did the unimaginable, I dug right in, with my hands. And it was delish!
Full disclosure… my friend Kinsey, who did some humanitarian work in Ethiopia, gave me the heads up that it was delicious, despite its different presentation. (Donate to her good cause here.)
We ate at the Blue Nile Cafe in Portland, OR. There are only three things you need to know when eating at an Ethiopian restaurant. First, Ethiopians are very kind. Second, wash your hands before and after you eat. Lastly, bring a big appetite because after your first bite… you’ll want to eat everything down to the last bite. You may even want to lick the plate. 🙂
What did we order?
Actually, there is no “we” in this. Kinsey, having been to the country, ordered for the both of us. I’ve found that when someone has more experience than you in a certain area… if you let them decide, then usually you’ll have a better outcome, but I digress.
SHE ordered Injera, a thin pancake-like, breadish thing with a spongy texture. You tear off a piece and pick up the other food with it. Other dishes were a beef and chicken Wot… wot basically means stew. The meat is marinated in a bunch of Ethiopian spices. The beef was my favorite and I think I ate most of it… sorry Kinsey!
We also had Wot split lentils… lentils mashed up with all the good spices. It was a bit spicier than the other dishes, but great when you grabbed it and the beef together with your injera.
She also ordered a spinach dish and it tastes pretty much like spinach… with extra spices added. Good though.
Click here for recipes.
How did we eat it?
As mentioned above, you wash your hands before you eat because they’re your utensils. Tear a piece of injera off with your right hand and still using your right hand, grab a little bit of one of the dishes and eat up. It’s really that simple.
I found that mixing the Wot spit lentils with the beef Wot was extra delicious! Also, the best thing about all the food being served on a big plate of injera is that all the spice and juiciness is soaked into it so when you’re almost done, don’t forget to eat some of that injera!!!
Here is another how-to article with pictures.
Click here to learn more about Ethiopia.