Title image: Sunset over Lalibela and a beautiful Ethiopian culture.
Our visit to Ethiopia was wonderful from all points of view: well organized by our excellent guide, Elias Alemayehu, visually stunning and vastly informative. Three aspects of Ethiopian culture are striking:
Ethiopian Culture: The Food
I like Ethiopian food because it is rich in diverse vegetables. Others like it because it is rich in diverse meat.
Here’s the inside of a typical restaurant. We’re at Dashen Terera in Addis Ababa.
You start by washing your hands, very correct.
The food is served family style. No one orders for him or herself on separate plates, although you may ask for different things.
The food is very attractively presented, so colorful and always on top of spongey injira bread.
Here’s another meal we had. All consistently delicious.
Honey wine comes in a very particularly shaped bottle. You’re supposed to drink using only two fingers.
Ethiopian Culture: Daily Life
While we were visiting Lalibela Elias had us stop at outside town at the home of a traditional family. There we saw the injira-making process, since this probiotic, iron-rich bread is fundamental to Ethiopian cuisine.
You start with a sorghum grain called tef:
Your grind it up and make batter which you let ferment over a couple of days and store in a gourd:
Then you pour the batter in a circular pattern onto a hot plate over burning coals:
Here are some results:
The daughter helped:
We are served:
The family has a house on one side of the road:
with a shed for animals
And a couple more houses on the other side of the road.
The Coffee Ceremony
We also experienced this part of daily life in Lalibela.
You start with the unroasted beans:
Then you roast them:
When the beans are properly roasted you can grind them:
While the coffee is brewing you make popcorn for your guests to eat
Here we go:
Now this is a fresh, smooth cup of Ethiopian coffee with a sprig of parsley:
When we returned to Addis I understood the coffee ceremony display in the hotel lobby:
Ethiopian Culture: Singing and Dancing
On of first night in Addis we went to Dashen Terera, a traditional restaurant where there’s great food, as I’ve shown you above, and plenty of singing and dancing:
On our last night in Addis we were taken to this – mostly tourist – spot, very well done, and saw a version of this:
Finally, my favorite performer:
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This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen