Ethiopia, a landlocked country located in East Africa. What kind of food is Ethiopian food that has a unique food culture that is a fusion of Asian and Arab cultures?
Ethiopia, Africa’s oldest independent country by Amharic tribes, inheriting the legend of Queen of Sheba and King Solomon dating back to BC. Most of the country is a plateau centered on the Ethiopian Highlands, and there are many non-Chalcedon Christian Orthodox church members (Ethiopian Orthodox Church), and it is said to be the origin of coffee.
Ethiopia is the basic meal of, spices and onions, Barubare (Berebere) that spicy seasoning, beef and goat, chicken, stewed vegetables watt stew is called (for example: Droite ) and, Injera of fermented grain teff called Sour bread like spices made from flour. Also, due to the influence of the former invader Italy (but rejected), it seems that pasta is sometimes eaten as a staple food.
Injera is a crepe-like thin disk-shaped fermented bread made from Teff flour. Although sometimes made from grains such as corn and sorghum, injera made with Teff has a soft and soft texture and a unique texture, and is very popular in Ethiopia and is eaten on a daily basis.
It is said that there are some differences in how to make injera depending on the region. One example is to knead Teff flour in water, leave it for several days to ferment it, and then hang it on a clay plate and bake it. The baked injera has small holes called “eins” on the surface and has an ocher color close to gray. Because it is a fermented food, it also has a unique acidity.
Watt, a dish that is said to suit Injera!
A side dish with a strong taste is said to go well with Injera. Ethiopian people wrap their typical dish, such as Watt (a spicy, dry stew made by boiling meat and vegetables with capsicum) in injera, and eat it while tearing it by hand. Injera is eaten three meals a day (morning, noon, and evening) in some areas, but it is not uncommon to eat it as a snack.
Grains and Teff, the raw materials for Injera!
What kind of grain is Teff, the raw material of Injera? According to one theory, the name Teff was originally the official language of Ethiopia, “Amharic,” which means “to lose sight of it.” As the name suggests, Teff has surprisingly small seeds. It is said that its size is less than 2 mm in major axis.
Teff has a long history of being cultivated in Ethiopia and is still widely cultivated in lowlands in the country. It is classified into two varieties, red and white, and the white one is the best for making injera.
It is known that Teff contains a large amount of iron, and it is said that the fact that few people suffer from anemia despite the highlands of the Ethiopian Highlands is not a little related.
The world is getting a lot of attention as a superfood
Teff, which is rich in iron and protein, contains calcium, minerals, and dietary fiber, and is also “gluten-free,” has suddenly attracted attention as a superfood due to its high nutritional value in recent years. However, this caused Teff to soar in price. Ethiopian Teff has also become a “phantom grain” in the market, as export bans have been taken since 2006 (currently partially lifted).
In Ethiopia, modern farm equipment has not spread to small-scale farmers, and most people still use primitive tools to farm. Although there is data that about 80% of the people are mainly engaged in agriculture, only a small amount of land is cultivated in the country, and it is said that most of the crops cultivated in the country are for private use. It seems that Teff is also producing as much as the local people eat.
In Ethiopia, it is still alive that the piled up Teff is stepped on cows and horses to thresh, and the wind is selected (seed is selected using the wind) without using a machine. Perhaps as long as the Ethiopian people get more groundbreaking farm equipment and improved fertilizers, Teff’s production will increase dramatically.