This July, we found the perfect accompaniment to the rainy monsoon weather in Mumbai! An aromatic afternoon of coffee and conversations! This month, the APB Food Book Club curated a different sort of culinary book experience, an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. It was conducted by Ananya Banerjee, author of ‘Planet Gastronomy’ a book that showcases the author’s recipes collected from her world travels.
Ananya brought in the traditional equipment used for such ceremonies and explained the entire in detail; its significance and the process. Traditionally hosted by the women of the house, Ethiopian coffee ceremonies are an important tradition in the Ethiopian cultural tapestry. An invitation to attend such a ceremony is considered a mark of friendship and high regard. The ceremony begins with lighting incense to purify the atmosphere, then an elaborate ceremony ensues in which green coffee beans are first roasted until fragrant, then ground in a mortal pestle and brewed in a Jebenah the traditional Ethiopian coffee pot. This coffee is then typically served it with freshly popped corn.
The coffee loving participants had a wonderful time watching their cuppa being brewed in this unusual ceremony.
We paired the coffee with Sprig Demerara Sugars, giving attendees a chance to try their coffee with accents of Sprigs Demerara infused with real Sri Lankan Cinnamon or Vanilla Beans. We also spiced the popcorn with one of Sprig’s recently released spice mixes, choosing the Tangier spice mix, redolent of the flavors of the Middle East and Africa. Sprigs spice mixes are lovely and come in 4 flavors. And the idea of tossing freshly popped corn with them is one we highly recommend. Do give it a try!
We served up a variety of traditional snacks that pair well with coffee from around the world, using recipes out of Ananya’s book. Poutine, a Canadian specialty is made with crispy French fries and cheese curds topped with light brown gravy.
Empanadas are a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries like Latin America, the United States, and some parts of Southeast Asia. For us, Indians it is similar to savory gujiya. We served the empanadas with salsa and sour cream. Spinach and feta gözleme is a traditional savory Turkish flatbread , made of hand-rolled leaves of yufka dough that is lightly brushed with butter and eggs, filled with various toppings, sealed, and cooked over a pan . We also served freshly baked Anzac cookies; a favorite in Australia and New Zealand. The sweet, crunchy treats were a perfect accompaniment to the dark, bitter coffee.
It has been amazing to see the variety of culinary experiences we’ve had through the APB Food Book Club and the chance to respect, preserve and savor food stories from around the globe. If you would like to attend such fascinating events, register yourself in the APB Food Book Club today!
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