NewsEast & Horn AfricaFood Ready-to-eat Ethiopian or a Big Mac? It's a no brainer


Posted on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 18:21

Food Ready-to-eat Ethiopian or a Big Mac? It's a no brainer

By Leyou Tameru in San Francisco

Photo/Taste of Ethiopia©All Rights reservedDiaspora entrepreneurs have taken Ethiopian food to stores and pop-up restaurants in the US.


Americans are already familiar with Yirgacheffe and Sidama – these Ethiopian coffees are now common in outlets from boutique cafés to Starbucks.

Now young entrepreneur Hiyaw Gebreyohannes has brought Ethiopian food to their dining tables.

His company, Taste of Ethiopia, produces and packages Ethiopian dishes and sells them to supermarkets in New York, including organic foodstore Whole Foods Market.

Gebreyohannes hopes to promote healthy eating through his products.

"The appeal of Ethiopian food is that it can accommodate people with dietary restrictions, meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike," he says.

The pan-cake-like bread called injera, made from a grain called teff and until recently only found in restaurants like Zed's in Washington DC, is becoming more popular.

It is gluten free and an alternative to wheat and barley.

Taste of Ethiopia produces five dishes: gomen (collard greens), kik (yellow splitpeas), misir (spicedredlentils), yatikilt (cabbage and carrots) and injera.

In many US cities you can also find Ethiopian food on the go.

From Washington DC to San Fran- cisco, food trucks and pop-up restaurants such as New York's Bunna Café are bringing Ethiopian food and culture to people on the streets.

This vegan travelling café run by three partners not only serves Ethiopian food but also bunna (coffee) and traditional alcoholic drinks like t'ej, a honey wine.

Its main dishes include keysir (beets, carrots and potatoes) and kedija selata (kale, lime, tomato and avocado).

Sam Saverance, a Texan who hooked up with two Ethiopians to create Bunna, says: "The best part is the look in people's eyes when they first try it."

With the way this trend is going, Ethiopian food could become just as popular and widespread in the US as Ethiopian coffee●

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