We have three Ethiopian restaurants in Salt Lake City and I decided that we need to try all three, pick a favorite and get familiar with some of the traditional dishes of our daughters birth country! So, this weekend Mark and I went to The Blue Nile and enjoyed a date night! We wanted to try a vegetarian and meat sampler plate and there was a plate on the menu that combined both as well as a flaky lentil pastry appetizer (which was delicious)!
Everything was delicious, however if I was forced to pick I actually preferred the vegetarian dishes to the meat ones and the variety was part of what made it so tasty. The injera is a bit of an acquired taste, but it compliments the food well (I wouldn't really enjoy eating it by itself though). I read someone say once that injera is like memory foam and sour dough bread got together and made a baby. Kind of funny, but true. Injera is a sour crepe like bread that you tear of and use to scoop up your food (you eat with your hands obviously). We found the whole process really enjoyable and loved our meal. I look forward to becoming more familiar with the dishes and learning to cook some myself.
As I have traveled, I have found food to be an integral part of culture and while I haven't always loved every food I've tried in various parts of the world (many of it I have!), I do think it's as important to experience food (to truly understand a culture) as it is to be familiar with their language, clothing, or traditions. What a beautiful culture that our family has the privilege to become intimately familiar with!