Used to be, you’d mention Ethiopian food to someone and receive a passionate response of “Oh, I love Ethiopian!’, or “I really can’t stand injera.” Spongy and slightly sour from fermentation, injera, the Ethiopian flatbread, was the great divider. Either you were on board with it or you weren’t.
The last few times I’ve had Ethiopian though, there’s been a change. The familiar tangy sourness is gone. Did the Ethiopian restaurants modify their injera recipes en masse? What happened to the sour?
Take the injera at Meskerem in Adams Morgan, where my friend Melissa and I shared the vegetarian platter. As is the norm, the various stews were served on a giant piece of injera, with several extra pieces on the side.
No tang. Neutral taste, really. Still an effective vehicle for picking up the food, but I missed the zing.
Maybe the restaurants decided they needed to alter the recipe to appeal to a wider range of people. I would have rather they made customers adapt to their taste, not the other way around.
It appears injera in the U.S. has been neutered, and that’s a shame. Bring back the sour!
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