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Food, eating habits and cusine of Ethiopia

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Ethiopian cuisine is customarily a mix of various vegetable and meat dishes spruced up with local spices in the form of a stew locally called “wat”. These dishes are served on top of large flat bread that is almost 20 inches in diameter. This bread, called “injera”, is made out of a kind of flour that is native to Ethiopia. The “injera” serves a dual purpose for meals: aside from being the main base upon which the meals are served, it is also used as a kind of spoon for scooping up the dish that is served on it. Thus, no utensils are actually used in Ethiopian cuisine.

Although meat is a part of Ethiopian cuisine, pork is totally disallowed. This is due to the influence of the major religions that are followed by most Ethiopians such as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. There are Ethiopians who are Muslims and Jews, but these religions likewise prohibit the consumption of pork. This led to a lot of Ethiopian vegetarian dishes. It also inspired Ethiopian culinary pioneers to use and develop different kinds of cooking oil. For example, Ethiopian cuisine usually uses cooking oil made from sesame, safflower, and Niger seeds.

Other ingredients in Ethiopian cuisine include the “berbere” and the “niter kebbeh”. The “berbere” is a kind of chili powder that is made out of a chili pepper that is powdered and then mixed with other spices such as ginger and coriander. “Niter kibbeh” on the other hand is milk fat that is simmered with cumin and other spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and then strained.

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