Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pre-prepared Ethiopian food is Sold in New York City Markets


Comfort food was not meatloaf and mashed potatoes for Hiyaw Gebreyohannes. He is Ethiopian, from a family that immigrated to Djibouti and then Canada before settling in Michigan, and when he finally landed in New York, he hankered for his mom’s home-style collard greens, split peas, lentils and such. Not finding stores that sold them ready to eat, he has created a line of fresh, organic and vegan prepared foods called Taste of Ethiopia, which he makes at Hot Bread Kitchen, in La Marqueta in Harlem. They include tart, slightly bitter collards, called gomen, with some jalapeño heat; a golden turmeric-infused salad of cabbage and carrots, tekele gomen (shown above at right); split yellow peas, or kik (at center), intensified with turmeric and the sweet heat of ginger; and spicy red lentils, or misir (at left), at once mellow and rustic with cumin and berbere, the Ethiopian spice blend. He also makes spongy injera bread. Mr. Gebreyohannes is no novice when it comes to food: his mother owns Ethiopian restaurants in Michigan and he was involved in an African-fusion restaurant in Midtown.

Taste of Ethiopia prepared foods are sold in 10-ounce refrigerated containers at Westerly Natural Market, 911 Eighth Avenue (55th Street) for $6.49 each, and at Union Market stores in Brooklyn for $5.99 each.