Ethiopia at a Glance

Hello loyal blog readers. Thank you Paige for such a warm introduction and welcome. I’ll be blogging every Friday this month as part of our push to get at least one blog entry per day. So, like Paige said, if there’s something in particular you’d like to hear about, please feel free to leave a comment.

I’m going to start my blog posts with some commentary from my friend Laurie Lazar, who spent two months in Ethiopia this spring volunteering for our partner organization, Children’s Heaven. Laurie wrote some very interesting things about Ethiopia, so I thought I would share them with you. Thank you, Laurie, for sharing your thoughts and insights.


One of the beloved foods in Ethiopia is raw meat called “Kifta”; a steak tartar type dish. Cow, camel, or goat meat hangs in open store windows and customers walk up and order a piece. A piece – resembling a rare cut of fillet minion – is cut right in front of them, and then served up immediately. Dipped in lemon juice and berberie, a blend of firey hot spices, this is a favorite throughout Ethiopia for those who can afford it.

Another treasured food in Ethiopia is injera! Injera is not only a kind of bread—it’s also an eating utensil – in fact the only eating utensil.

In Ethiopia and Eritrea, this spongy, sour flatbread is used to scoop up meat and vegetable stews (wats). Injera also lines the tray on which the stews are served, soaking up their juices as the meal progresses. When this edible bed of injera is eaten, the meal is officially over.

Injera is made with teff, a tiny, round grain that flourishes in the highlands of Ethiopia. While teff is very nutritious, it contains practically no gluten. This makes teff ill-suited for making raised bread, however injera still takes advantage of the special properties of yeast. A short period of fermentation gives it an airy, bubbly texture, and also a slightly sour taste. Injera is the main staple of every meal in Ethiopia which is why Ethiopians will dry it and crumble it in order to have it when traveling.

I hope this is of interest to some of you. Stay tuned for more about Ethiopia!




One thought on “Ethiopia at a Glance

  1. Two things I love about Ethiopia:
    – injera (along with delicious, spicy, mushy vegetable yumminess)
    – my niece Lidya

    You’re doing such great work Shawn – I’m so proud of you!

    Your sister,

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