You Should Just Buy

I was at the corner store a few minutes ago, buying baklava to have with tea, when I discovered myself in line at the cash in between two separate men buying multiple bags of injera, the Ethiopian bread.

Because I am my father’s daughter and have picked up the habit of chatting to strangers, I joked to the guy behind me, “Is this as good as homemade?”

Apparently Ethiopian folks who have immigrated to Canada don’t make their own injera. The mitad, the flat pan the bread is cooked on, doesn’t fit on our traditional stovetops. In faltering English he also said, “it’s also hard… to get right… when it is prepared…”

“When it’s fermenting?” I asked. His face lit up.

“I’ve always wanted to try and make it, ” I said. “My husband and I eat Ethiopian food a lot.”

He shook his head. “Even our ladies have hard time. You should just buy.”

Now I want to try it more than ever. But the teff, the grain used in injera, is expensive, so I’m worried about screwing it up. Maybe I should just keep buying my injera at the Hasty Market. If it’s good enough for the local Ethiopians, who am I to argue?

Out of Africa


One of the coolest things about Toronto’s many cultural neighbourhoods is how they’ve evolved over the years. One group of immigrants moves out, another moves in to create their own community in their new home. During years of overlap, communities exist side by side and somewhat intertwined.

The most recent example of this cultural mosaic is Bloorcourt Village. This short stretch of Bloor Street West from Christie Pits park to Ossington Avenue was at first a predominantly Greek neighbourhood, pre-dating Greektown on the Danforth. Some vestiges of this still remain in the area today with restaurants such as Menalon (841 Bloor Street West) and Astoria Athens Restaurant (865 Bloor Street West) serving up traditional Greek cuisine and the quaint Greek Corner Grocery (859 Bloor Street West) still selling tins of olive oil from home.

Continue reading “Out of Africa”