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Taste of Eritrea:
Taste of Eritrea provides 100 recipes and a substantial amount of background on this little-known country on the eastern coast of Africa. The cooking of Eritrea shows strong influences from such diverse regions as neighboring Ethiopia, former ruler Italy, Turkey, and England. From Ethiopia comes the use of berberé, a fiery blend of red chilies, garlic, ginger and other aromatic spices; ghee, a kind of clarified butter seasoned with ginger and a distinctive blend of other ingredients, including celery seed and fenugreek; and ingera, a sourdough flatbread made from wheat flour or teff, a local grain. This dish of towel-size, spongy bread is used as both plate and eating utensil by Eritreans. Like the Ethiopians, they eat with their hands, tearing off pieces of this moist bread and using it to convey every bite of food to their mouth.
It may seem odd to find pizza and lasagna in an African cookbook, but while few Italians remain in their country, Eritreans still eat spaghetti, drink espresso, and love Macedonia di Frutta, a mixed fruit salad served everywhere. Easy dishes likely to please include Alicha, a mixed vegetable curry; spiced Eritrean Doughnuts; and Doro Zigni, a spicy chicken stew akin to the incendiary wats of Ethiopia. Author Olivia Warren opens Taste of Eritrea with a good description of the country, its history, and culture. Anyone planning a trip there will also find it somewhat useful as a travel guide. --Dana Jacobi [via]