Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturday Meat Market

Saturday markets in Ethiopia mean fresh meat for many towns and villages in the rural areas.  With a small group of friends, I headed to the village of Aroge to enjoy their meat market where we reserved choice cuts from a large cow we spotted waiting to be slaughtered.

One butcher in Aroge making his cuts
The process from cow to cut meat was surprisingly fast and well organized.  First, the cow was killed, separated from its hide, and taken in portions to nearby tables where butchers waited, stationed to take requests and negotiate prices from meat buyers.  The butchers here were clearly adept, making the whole process seem effortless and almost artful.
Kidneys and chekina, just before we cut and ate them with injera and daataa

My party requested the kidneys and ‘chekina’, which is a meat along the lower back of the animal known to be great for eating raw.  After we received our cuts, we headed across the street to a restaurant that was almost entirely self-service.  We were provided drinks, injera, daataa (chili sauce), and knives but we had to cut the meat for ourselves.  We spent the next 10 minutes slicing the meat in bite size pieces before we feasted.  That was probably the first time I ate kidneys and definitely the first time I ate them raw.  For me, new textures and tastes are most difficult to handle when I know they are sourced from an animal.  Although keeping the food down proved to not be a problem, the advice to take de-worming medication every couple of months when consuming raw meat regularly was disconcerting. 

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