Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Ethiopia: Journey off the eaten track in Cape Town

(Jan 02, 2013, Europe China daily)--Bebe Rose, a Cameroonian who owns Bebe's restaurant in Cape Town, stood with her arms folded and peered down with one brow raised as she scanned the plates of unfinished food spread out before me.
"What's the matter?" she asked. "You don't like my food?"

At the Little Ethiopia Restaurant on Shortmarket Street, Yeshi Mekonnen presents a plate of East African delicacies. Pieter Bauermeister / New York Times Syndicate
I did like her food. There were stews of kidney beans and okra, meat and starches. It was true that one item, the tripe, pushed my boundaries. In a shallow bath of a hearty brown sauce of ground nuts and red oil sat part of one of the four chambers of a cow's stomach, the rumen, or omasum, or perhaps the abomasum.

The problem, though, was that this was the last stop on a four-hour eating binge through central Cape Town, and my own sorry single-chamber organ was maxed out.

Not from sheer gluttony, though. I had found a novel way to explore Cape Town, a city that I had visited several times over the course of 20 years. A local company called Coffeebeans Routes offered to expose visitors to the city and its subcultures through a tour called the Cape Town Cuisine Route.

Unlike many other culinary excursions, the goal is not to find the finest dining but to use food as an entry to the city's inner life, visiting home kitchens, alley cafes and markets otherwise easy to miss. Our first stop was the Escape Caffe. The clientele, and the baristas, looked like the South African counterparts to my regular cafe in Philadelphia. Read more from  China daily »

No comments:

Post a Comment