Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Eat With My Hands, But Not Bone Marrow

Last Sunday, I took my first field trip to West Harlem-there are places in this huge city that even I haven't been to-on a mission to meet Hagan, The Wandering Foodie, and join him for one of his 93 Plates. It also happened to be my first experience eating Ethiopian and I was very excited!

After a little schedule snafu, we were off to eat some food. For appetizers, we were served Kategna, toasted injera. Injera is the crepe you use to eat Ethiopian with-yes, it's your utensil that you eat with your hands. The Kategna reminded me a lot of dosa and is fairly enjoyable especially with the soft cheese accompanying it. Our other appetizer was Sambusa, a large phyllo pastry puff filled with meat. This was sided by a spicy chili paste; I focused more on the pastry. I could have eaten about 10 of them.

Combination Plate
Our main entree was a combination plate of Doro Wett (bone-in chicken simmered in spices), Yebeg Alitcha (chunks of lamb marinated in ginger and rosemary among other spices), Bozena Shiro (definitely a chickpea dish, but I don't think it had beef), and Collard Greens. Now, all were delicious and I'd eat everyone again, my favorite actually being the Bozena Shiro. If you read Hagan's post about our time there, he calls me out on not trying to suck out the bone marrow from the lamb bone. Yes, I have a problem with bone marrow. I know it's the new thing to eat, I know it's "where all the flavor is," but I have a mental hurdle blocking my bone marrow experiences. When I think of marrow, I think of red blood and stem cells, and the giving of life, and LIFE in general and how this was one not too long ago, and before I know it, I have omnivore guilt. I can't suck the life force out of dead bone no matter how delicious it is until I can rectify all of this in my head.

Moving on to dessert, I have to agree with Hagan, I would have enjoyed a more traditional Ethiopian dessert if there is one. Baklava drenched in honey is always way too sweet for me. Despite that, I think Brownie and I will be making the field trip back there soon so she, the Ethiopian expert, can compare and contrast.

Full disclosure: This meal was comped by Zoma.

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Butdr said...

That's Doro Wat, not Wett...

Siobhan said...

@Butdr: Apparently it can be spelled either way.