The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Radio Programme Review - Thursday 16th September 2004

The Food Programme, BBC Radio 4

Given by -

Reviewed by - Anne Parsons

Ethiopian cuisine is undoubtedly appreciated by most, if not all, readers of News File but it is probably little known amongst the wider UK populace. Hopefully this edition of The Food Programme will change that.

One of the characteristic ingredients of Ethiopian cuisine is injera, made of course from the grain, tef. The nutritional properties of tef (it is notoriously rich in iron) and the difficulties that are faced in its cultivation were highlighted. In Ethiopia, reporter Joe Hollins learnt how to make injera and also, of course, participated in a family coffee ceremony.

Back in the UK, presenter Sheila Dillon visited Tobia restaurant where she met owner and chef Sophie Sirak-Kebede and was also joined by Rita Pankhurst. Sophie recounted how the dishes she cooks are those that have traditionally been made by her mother, grandmother, and even relatives before that. Having been to Tobia a couple of times myself I can certainly vouch for the excellence of the food and hope that members will note that this is where the Society Christmas lunch will take place.

Representatives from the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Ethiopian Community Centre, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church also participated in the programme.

The famines and food shortages that have been enormous problems were naturally mentioned but the programme did leave the listener with a positive view for the future of Ethiopia - who knows, it may even be that our Supper Clubs will soon have to fight for space in the London restaurants!

First Published in News File Winter 2004

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