v27-1 The Foods and Traditions of "Home"

Vol. XXVII No. 1 - SPRING 2016

Ethiopian mesobs, woven round wicker baskets, come in many sizes. Smaller ones may be decorative, or they can be good places to store household items. A large mesob, which can be three to four feet tall, plays the role of the dinner table in a traditional Ethiopian home. It has a lid, and when you remove it, there’s a place in the center for a common tray of food, called the gebeta. This traditional Ethiopian meal is served on a round of injera, a sour, spongy bread made with teff, the indigenous Ethiopian grain. The meal is shared by everyone at the table. A piece of injera is used as the eating utensil to scoop up small portions of the many dishes, which characteristically consist of seasoned vegetables and thick stews.

Cooking and eating the foods of home nourishes the soul as well as the body. Food is central to cultural identity, connecting people to their homelands across distance and generations. Inviting another to share a meal is a time honored way to say “Welcome.” Over time, the diverse waves of immigrants and refugees who have made Edgewater home have established a rich assortment of ethnic grocery stores and restaurants throughout the community. They offer a warm invitation to all who find themselves wanting to expand their world – one food at a time.