You don’t have to go to Ethiopia for the great taste of injera, doro wat and aromatic coffee. It’s all right here in Denver, Colorado at the annual Taste of Ethiopia. Thousands of Ethiopians and Americans ascended on Parkfield Lake Park in northeast Denver for a huge celebration of Ethiopian food, music and culture.
There was a huge crowd and lots of dancing.
Colorado is home to the second largest Ethiopian community in the U.S. with more than 30,000 Ethiopians residing in the Denver metro area. The Taste of Ethiopia is an opportunity for the community to showcase long-standing traditions and a love for a faraway homeland.
The bright colors of the Ethiopian flag -red, yellow and green- were adorned by many. Women proudly wore their habesha kemis, a typical Ethiopian dress. There was even a fashion show that featured the many different styles of Ethiopian clothing.
As can be seen from the photos below, it was a joyous event that spread happiness across the faces of the festive crowd.
The event was sponsored by St Mary’s Dagmawit Gishen Mariam church in Aurora, Colorado and organized by Nebiyu Asfaw.
There was live music and of course food! Sharing an Ethiopian dish is an intimate experience that most Americans are not accustomed to. Instead of using utensils, Ethiopian bread, call injera is used to scoop up small amounts of food by hand. The Taste of Ethiopia was a great opportunity for many Americans to experience a new way to break bread! Regardless of where you’re from, everyone could agree, food was delicious.
One of the most recognized traditions of Ethiopian culture is the coffee ceremony. This deep rooted ritual begins with roasting the coffee beans on the spot. The hostess will often bring the roasted beans around to the nearby guests who will gently wave their hands to get a full scent of the aroma -almost as if a sign of approval. The coffee is then brewed in a kettle. Once complete, only small cups need to be served, since the richness of Ethiopian coffee requires just a small portion compared to American sized cups of coffee. The cups are then handed out to guests, often with a heavy hand of sugar to follow. Click here for a full gallery of Taste of Ethiopia.