Sunday, February 03, 2008

Vegan Food Takes off in South Africa

Vegan venture turned into magical experience of an exotic culture

Ethical Vegan cuisine is now featured in restaurants all over the world.

This is an extract from a review of an Ethiopian Restaurant in Johannesburg called Addis...

"Owner Senait Mekonnen explains that vegetarian fare is a staple diet for many Ethiopians, who call it "fasting food" - as Coptic Christians refrain from eating meat on Wednesdays, Fridays and over religious festivals like Easter. We've obviously come to the right place to begin my pilgrimage into the ethics of what we eat.

Every object at Addis tells a story of an ancient Ethiopian culture of emperors, cliff-side monasteries and coffee ceremonies. When our starters arrive, the waitress removes the wicker cone to reveal a table ingeniously set in the base.

The service is attentive and warm in the African way. Nono, our waitress, shows us how to unroll the signature injera - an indigenous bread made from fermented rice flour. Injera is used like roti, which you eat with your hands, and is coated in delicious berbere (an aromatic, spicy masala) and kibe (a spicy clarified herbal butter). We dip injera into zesty azifa - a paste of lentils in olive and mustard oil.

'We break bread and share four divine dishes spread on an extra-large injera "crepe" with vegetable pickle - misir wot (lentils in a rich sauce), kike alicha wot (chickpeas in a chunky stew), a mushroom stew and shiro wot (a spicy vegetarian paste). The fare is dark and aromatic, the flavours are earthy and robust with a sweet, spicy aftertaste."


solarvegan said...

Sounds delicious! Only problem is that pesky clarified butter, or ghee, which always stands in the way of otherwise vegan fare.

Aragorn23 said...

Just to clarify, Addis is in Cape Town, not Johannesburg :-)