Discovering simple and healthy refreshments that prompt sighs of contentment is one of life’s supreme bliss. And it takes a trip to one of Addis Ababa’s Atkilt Bet (Vegetable Shops) to discover Spriss – a multilayered fruit juice that becomes one of Ethiopia’s colorful enchantments.
Here in Addis Ababa or other parts of the country, Atkilt Bet (vegetable and fruit shop) is usually a one small room shop stuffed with different kinds of products that serves as a mini supermarket from the inside and of course embellished with the colorful and fresh fruits and vegetables from the outside.
Customers pick their chosen fruit or vegetables from outside and could also get packed products from yogurt to biscuits from inside. Even though this one room store might look small, it also serves as Chimaqui Bet (Juice Bar) for customers who wants sit for a while and enjoy the fresh, delicious and satisfying Ethiopia’s very own fruit juice. Atkilt Bet is the very spot where locals get their juice fix and more.
Today’s virtual tour is taking the world to a particular little Atkilt Bet which epitomize the fresh fruit and vegetable eating culture of Addis Ababa that includes the most raved about Ethiopian Juicing for body and soul.
Spriss Juice is just one particular delicious fruit juice which usually composes four or five layers of juice at one. These colorful delights are usually Avocado, Papaya, Mango, Banana, Guava and Pineapple. It comes as distinct layers in your glass accompanied by a long spoon and a lime. The regular Spriss Juice usually composes fruits which are found abundantly throughout the year like Avocado, Papaya and Banana. Mango, Pineapple and Guava have seasons to join the combination and to be enjoyed.
To indulge one’s eyes, Spriss Juice serve in a large glass. After a squeeze of a lime on the top, you can eat the juice with a long spoon layer by layer or mixed as you like but just remember that you can get any combination when you order.
If you wonder about extras, well here in Ethiopia and at this kind of vegetable shops in particular the juices are all natural, no milk is added except with a little bit touch of water and sugar to the freshly blended fruit juices. However, depending on your choice the juices can be combined with a little bit of nonalcoholic fruit flavored cordial for another flavor twist which makes it wickedly good and interestingly this is how most of the locals like it.
Although I pick Spriss Juice to be on the spot light for this particular post from the list of fruit juices and vegetable dish that these vegetable shops serves, it is good to remark that individual fruit juices can be enjoyed as well … yes you can order one full glass of your chosen fruit juice.
Talking about one particular fruit juice, the amazingly green, healthy and bountiful Avocado juice is at the top of many local’s list.
Obviously Ethiopia is not the best place for sweet tooth. After eating all those delicious spicy stews with the very filling Injera which usually leave no room for dessert, most Ethiopians including me crave for our soul nourishing Coffee instead of dessert or any kind of sweet for that matter. For those of you who might wonder how Ethiopians get their sugar fix then, well don’t be surprised if you see locals prefer their drinks to be sweet than their food.
Sweetening tea, macchiato or latte with sugar and which also goes well with all those delicious but unsweetened little Ethiopian fried foods like Sambusa, and of course sweetening fruit juices with little bit of sugar or cordials are more likely the ways that most Ethiopians beat their sugar cravings.
So if you happen to be in Addis Ababa and want to get your sugar fix like the locals this is the best place to do so instead of looking for pastries or ice cream.
These luscious, bountiful and delicious fruit juices also double as a meal for many locals rather than just being a pick – me – up snack. Anbasha and Ye afar dabo are the freshly home baked pieces of breads usually enjoyed by the locals along with the fruit juice (usually Avocado) in order to honor hunger and call it a lunch or breakfast.
Want to get one more idea from the locals? Well picking ½ or 1 kg of banana (if you are with your friend) from the fruit stand and the freshly home baked Ethiopian breads from the shelf … besides this is the only place in Addis Ababa except your home, where you can go wild and ripping your banana eating it as it is with the freshly home baked Ethiopian breads.
The truth is all these interesting ways of enjoying fruits are creative creations of the locals which are very filling and cost effective at the same time and it is one of the interesting details worth mentioning in Addis Ababa’s vegetable and fruit eating culture I think.
Talking about vegetable, there is one particular dish that the multifunction Atikilt Bet proudly serve and it is my favorite too. The dish is called Atikilt and it is simply an assortment of vegetables and fruits. The assortment usually composes fresh green lettuce, avocado, tomato, green pepper, onion, boiled potato, beetroot and carrot, raw pineapple and banana.
You can also get all creative here and come up with your very own vegetable landscape of yellow, green or red by ordering your favorite ones. No salad dressing here, rather it seasoned with freshly ground Kundo Berbere (black pepper), salt and vinegar…so healthy and delicious and exactly the way most Ethiopians like it!
But if you want to make it more luxurious, you can pick canned salad dressing or tuna from the shelf and mix it all up as few locals do. Besides the vegetable salad, fruit salads are also included on the menu of these vegetable and fruity shops. Delicious Fruit salad prepared with all those colorful fruits you see outside… love it!
These healthy, intoxicating fruit juices and vegetable dish makes a meal worth visiting Addis Ababa’s Atkilt Bet…
…that serve up Simple, Satisfying and Scrumptious Soul Food!