Injera, the Staple of Your Ethiopian Meal

One of our more popular items is Injera.  As I was watching Milen and her aide eat lunch, I noticed they were eating with their hands.  This is part of Ethiopian Meal culture, and is considered more intimate and communal than the traditional American method around the Dinner Table.

What I didn't know was the purpose of Injera for this meal.  I often order my food to go, and it comes with a flat, seed type, sourdough bread.  I noticed this bread was healthy, and did not contain the fillers nor form of traditional American breads.  While it was spongy, I used it to make sandwiches.  It was also extremely filling (note for those wanting to eat healthy, and watch your weight!)

However, Ethiopians use the Injera not only for part of the meal, but also as the placemat for the food and to use as utensils.  So I reheated my to go food, along with the Injera (which before I likened more to a spongy tortilla with Vinegar taste), and tried to eat Ethiopian style.  For us Americans, I can say this will take a bit of getting used to.

The proper method: In Ethiopia, a variety of stews, salads (vegetarian dishes, my fave) or simply more Injera (firfir), are placed upon the Injera for serving. Using one's right hand, small pieces of Injera are torn and used to grasp the stews and salads for eating. The Injera under these stews soaks up the juices and flavors of the foods and, after the stews and salads are gone, this bread is also consumed. Injera is thus simultaneously food, eating utensil, and plate. When the entire "tablecloth" of Injera is gone, the meal is over.

So when you get your dinner to go, keep this in mind for full flavor of the meal. and to eat Injera the way that fully enhances your experience.

Published 5/6/15

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