Growing up, I was such a fussy eater. I know I caused my mum endless embarrassment. Like when my dad regularly ordered “6 ’99’s’ and an ice lolly ” from the ice cream van… I just really didn’t like ice cream (grew out of that phase, thank God), and our treat from the Chippy on holiday, “6 fish and chips, and a small ‘just chips’, no salt and vinegar on the ‘just chips’…” (obviously). My poor mum had to deal with all of the judgy strangers who convinced themselves I was being punished (“Poor kid-not getting a 99….”). Awkward.
My friends used to joke that if it had any flavour whatsoever, I wouldn’t like it, and to be honest, they were always right. Travelling the world has fixed me, so to speak. There are still many foods I have yet to ‘learn to like’ (Tuna – bleurgh!) but my taste buds are pretty much open for business these days.
An Ethiopian friend introduced me to Ethiopian and Eritrean food a long time ago. It’s one of my favourite cuisines. In Ethiopia, mealtimes are big, happy social occasions, even during times of woe and hostility.
It’s an exciting cuisine, and it’s not meant to be eaten alone. Traditionally served on a communal platter, it’s ideal for sharing, and Injera is it’s foundation. Eat with your hands! Yummy!
(Omg, just writing this is making me foam at the mouth. I love Ethiopian food!)
Injera is made from an ancient grain known as teff. It’s ground into flour, made into a batter, slightly fermented, and then fried on a heavy skillet. The result is a spongy and lightly sour pancake.
Ethiopia is one of the worlds largest producers of live stock. Great for meat eaters, as the traditional meat dishes are delicious too. Just double up your injera as cutlery and tuck in.
I’m not a vegetarian, but what most people don’t know, is that Ethiopia also produces some of the best vegetarian food in the world. (Yep all true).
On that note let me by introduce a little gem I discovered recently:
…(drum roll please)…. Merkamo Ethiopian
An hour to chill and procrastinate?
Head to Merkamo for the Injera Plate
Vegan and healthy and packing a punch
Perfect for those looking for lunch
Professionals, students, tourists too
Follow the hipsters and join the queue
Greeted warmly with a great big smile
That alone, makes it worth all the while
Find them in Spitalfields, the bright green stand
The best Ethiopian food in the land.
Merkamo Ethiopian is A-Maz-Ing! The food is packed full of flavour and they’ve actually made Vegan food appealing!
Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/merkamolondon and follow them on Instagram @ethiopian.spitafields
They are open daily 12:00-17:00 Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6EW
P.S You’re welcome