Ethiopian Food

In general Ethiopian food is very spicy for one main reason the spices help preserve meat as refrigeration is rare. This spicy paste 'Berbere' (made from red chili peppers, garlic and other spices, then dried out and mixed with yet more spices and formed into a paste) has another attraction, for in Ethiopian culture the woman who can make the best Berbere has the greatest chance of winning a good husband!

Stew called 'wat' is an important traditional Ethiopian food and is made with chicken, beef, fish, or just vegetables, again, it is normally spiced up with paprika.

Food is often eaten with the fingers and injera, (a pancake like bread that's one of Ethiopian children's favourite foods) forms the backbone of the meal, with strips of injera being torn off and wrapped out portions of the dishes made, then eaten. (However for the uninitiated forks are allowed!)

Its easier to imagine this as the injera being like a tablecloth with portions of food being served on it, then you eat the tablecloth! (See image left of wat served on injera.)

Other popular food in Ethiopia includes dulet (meat and peppers with injera) or fir-fir (a pancake with egg and honey) both for breakfast whilst popcorn and Kolo (roasted barley) are both popular snacks.

Traditional Ethiopian Food: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 France licenseUnfortunately for many in Ethiopia, food is in shortage with an estimated five million Ethiopians in chronic food shortage and most children in Ethiopia are malnourished with only 11% having access to safe drinking water.

Part of the reason for this is the frequent floods and droughts that afflict the area disrupting the food supply. This is having an impact on children living in urban areas of Ethiopia as the lack of food production is driving up prices in cities such as Addis Ababa where malnutrition is becoming ripe with the price of wheat alone having gone up by 80% in just twelve months.


Ethiopian Food

Ethiopian Food

Ethiopian Food

Ethiopian Food


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Ethiopian Food

Ethiopian Food

Many will remember the Live Aid concert of 1985 which drew attention to the famine that swept across Ethiopia and provided food relief, although hundreds of thousands still died of starvation. Whilst the situation has improved children in Ethiopia, facing a range of challenges, still need help to secure a better future. This video shows traditional Ethiopian food. Quite an experience!


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