Are you ready for an exotic culinary experience? Then dust off your snow boots and visit Ethiopian Diamond in Chicago. Wafting fragrance clouds of spices, roasting coffee and incense will envelop your senses as you create a new taste memory.
What a delightful opportunity to sample the exotic dishes with Chef Almaz (Chef/Owner of Ethiopian Diamond) and to learn about the culinary customs and authentic flavors of Ethiopia. Although utensils are available, I opted to experience this cuisine as intended by using pieces of injera bread to scoop up bites from the colorful array of food presented on the large shared plate in the middle of the table. It was like having a seated buffet served at the table. Injera is bread made from the ancient Ethiopian grain Teff and has the consistency of a pancake. At first I was a bit clumsy, but I soon gained confidence reaching with the injera. Chef Almaz explained that “Watt” is a descriptive term for dishes that are prepared with the spice berbere. The word “Alicha” means that the dish is mild. I also enjoyed the “Gomen” which are collared greens. Sitting around the table was truly a shared experience in more ways than one. As we break bread and eat from the same serving plate, we all become part of a community. In addition to the flavorful culinary experience, sharing an Ethiopian meal is a great way for families to bond over injera
The grand finale of the meal was the coffee ceremony. Since Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, these special beans hold a special place in Ethiopian meals. Chef Almaz showed me how the beans are fresh roasted in the kitchen. The freshly brewed coffee is then brought to the table in a ceramic pot and is accompanied burning incense and myrrh! Truly a taste memory that I will always remember.
If you want to learn more about the tastes of Ethiopia, please download for free my kitchen chat with Chef Almaz.
Savor the day!
Question: What are some exotic tastes that you have sampled?