What? A blog post?! No, you are not dreaming it is true.
Back in April I was in Addis Ababa for a few weeks. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I love working in that office. I love the staff like family. I am always so happy to spend time with them and they seem to like me too. On my last day in Addis, the fellas (that’s what I am calling them) decided they needed to take me out to lunch.
The offer was a very sweet gesture. The fellas had to drive into the city on a Saturday and I knew they were not going to let me pay for anything. It’s a big deal when some don’t make more than $5000 a year. Despite all this, I was dreading lunch. I knew what we were going to be eating and I knew it was something I wouldn’t order on my own.
Kifto is raw minced beef that is marinated in clarified butter with herbs and mitmita. Mitmita is a chili powder spice blend. It’s served with a crumbly dry cheese, a nutty powder, ingera and a cake made of false banana. I won’t even start on what false banana is.
After Kifto we had Gored Gored. Like Kifto, it is raw, unlike Kifto, it is not minced or marinated. It’s just raw cubed beef. It was served with the horseradish like sauce. Yup, that’s it. Yup, it looks like a streak you’d buy at Whole Foods.
To round out lunch, we had fried beef which I’m pretty sure was Special Tibs. After all the raw meat they finally served cooked meat. It was really good but I don’t know if I felt that was just because it was cooked.
The verdict? I am not sure I would order the Kifto or Gored Gored but if I was offered it, I would accepted it. I think one of the reason the fellas like me so much is because I am willing to give most food a try and food is very important to them. Unlike many visitors, I always eat with the staff and eat (most) of what they eat. It’s important to them and that’s important to me. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I took cipro before and after lunch. I know you are not supposed to do but I was going to be getting on a plane that afternoon and I didn’t want to get sick.
Being in Ethiopia this last Spring was one of the best work trips I’ve had in years. We got our work done, I made some new friends, I got out and saw more of the country and I had to deal with no drama. A success on all levels.
Has anyone ordered or had Kifto or Gored Gored here in the states? The fellas asked me if they serve it in Ethiopian restaurants in the States and I told them I wasn’t sure.