It’s a season, when body and soul merge for sacred duality, when conscious living pervades and when vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes honored more than ever.
It’s a season, when fifty something days before every Fasika (Ethiopian Easter) becomes challenging, soul purifying but memorable for many Orthodox religion devotees of Ethiopia.
Tsome Kudade is a season usually welcomed with a ritual locally known as Kibela – the last weekend before lent offering officially starts, when family and friends gather to feast on foods which they are going to be abstained from – meat and all dairy products. It’s a weekend when Siga Bet – butcher shops with restaurant and bar, which usually serves raw meat and stir fried meat with local beers – overly occupied for the ritual as most butcher shops would be closed during lent offering.
It’s a season rhythm and rhyme with Zelesegna – meditating traditional tune emanates from exotic traditional musical instrument known as Begena. It’s when the overall vibe of the country hugged by a sense of composure, when big music concerts, weddings and other events postponed as celebration and food are very much intertwined in Ethiopia.
It’s a season when the usual, an early morning church service moved to mid-day until 3 in the afternoon. Thus, it becomes a season with a rare scene – clothed in white pilgrim flocking to the church at the middle of the day, the ringing of bell and the meditating melody vibrating from the church as a constant reminder of conscious living.
It’s a season when vegetables and fruits outshine meat, when certain types of dishes appeared as once a year treats like Siljo. It’s when Beyaynetu – an assortment of fasting dishes – becomes the king of all dishes instead of only on Wednesdays and Fridays – Fasting days of the Ethiopian orthodox devotees.
It’s a season when vegetable shops with juice bar takes over the spotlight. It’s when colorfully layered Spriss juice, avocado juice and a hearty salad of vegetables and fruit becomes rich gastronomic delight.
“One of the more seductive ways that Life attempts to woo us each month is with seasonal foods.” Sarah Ban Breathnach – Romancing the ordinary
It’s a season when cafés switch from the famous foamy layered delight of Macchiato to the fasting version – usually Soya replacing Milk. It’s when Black tea becomes a café sensation – heavenly paired of spiced black tea with dairy free pastries like Teff Muffin, Baklava or Teff Biscuits.
It’s a season which seem gastronomic deprivation but rather it’s a season to nourish body and soul by conscious living, contemplating, praying and worshiping for many Ethiopian orthodox devotees.
“Amazing grace, it appears, is bestowed not on the perpetually sighted, but on those who ‘once were blind but now can see’. Rebecca McClanahan
Romancing the season!