The Mutual Assistance Association For The Ethiopian Community (MAAEC, Inc.) and The Ethiopian Day 2012 committee are putting on the first-ever Taste of Ethiopia, which will feature the “sights, sounds, and tastes of Ethiopia” at the Plano Centre on 2000 East Spring Creek Parkway on Labor Day weekend.
“The first thing we are going to do,” says Mac Mekonnen, the Executive Director of MAAEC, “is have the coffee ceremony.”
Mekonnen explains how Ethiopians have a unique way of drinking coffee – since the drink’s name did derive from the region of Kaffa after all – and the ceremony entails three steps: roasting, grinding, and boiling it in hot water. Then people just sit around drinking very strong coffee (most Ethiopians don’t add sugar). Sitting and drinking where the tradition part comes in.
“In Ethiopia, time is not money,” says Mekonnen. “They talk about their families and friends, and sit around. In this country, you grab and go coffee. It’s a very unique experience…”
After the coffee ceremony, food and samples from three Ethiopian restaurants (Ghion, Ibex, and Lalibela) in Dallas will be provided to guests. There’ll be dance performances, a fashion show, and short films during the entire program that runs from Sept 1-2, 11 a.m. to midnight both days.