5 Women on Staying Connected to Their Heritage Through Food

December 25, 2017


5 Women on Staying Connected to Their Heritage Through Food

Amani Bin Shikhan, Toronto, Writer

The proud Torontonian and year-round Drake scholar has written for Noisey and The Fader.

“Ethiopian food, as cliché as it sounds, feels like home to me. Saturday is my family’s unofficial day of congregation; my aunt comes over, my little cousins and a fresh batch or two of injera in tow. My mama, the matriarch, spoons the stews she’s been carefully simmering all morning over our plates, far after we’ve had our fill. (The trick is to say that you’ve had enough preemptively—that way, you get just the right amount.) Finally, everyone sits together for a communal lunch. My siblings and I are all older now, and we spend whatever time we can spare reveling in this makeshift, relatively new tradition. Sometimes we eat quickly, apologize for whatever obligation tears us away, and run out the door. And sometimes, on an especially leisurely Saturday, I’ll roast some coffee—one of the few domesticated things passed down to me, the cliché diaspora kid—and we’ll laugh and catch up and roll our eyes over espresso shots and homemade dabo, qolo, or slightly burnt popcorn. Regardless, our little Saturday tradition, despite becoming a real thing in my teenage years, has become an integral part of my home and family life. Ethiopian food—or more specifically, the food of my mother and aunties—takes time, and forces me to sit down awhile. It literally brings me home, but it keeps me inexplicably tethered to the ones I love most, too.”

Amani’s Recommendation: “My new favorite spot for Ethiopian (and Eritrean!) food in Toronto is at a newer restaurant on the Danforth called WazemaRendez-Vous, just a couple steps farther, is the OG though, and their macchiatos are the closest I’ve had to the ones back home in Addis.”


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