There is a thread going about Ethiopian food and food allergy, so I though I would post this query in a separate thread:
I had a bad experience with Ethiopian food over 15 years ago: At school a friend's mom owned a local Ethiopian resto and he told me to go there and try it. I went in with some friends, it was in walking distance from our neighborhood. When we got there, his mom kept giving us more and more food and it was terrible, inedibly bad. But we had to pretend we were eating it. His mom and aunties hovered and kept checking on us and we were shifting the food around on the plate and didn't know what to do. It was just gross. Specifically, the flavors were muddy, the food was greazy, and even though everyone at our table was a chile eater and loved spicy food, the food was fiery hot and all we could taste was red chiles. Then at school the next day I had to lie and say it was great! I didn't want to hurt my friend's feelings about his mom's resto and his family's national cuisine. Anyway, I have never eaten Ethiopian food again. I realized that it was just a bad restaurant, and that I should give Ethiopian food another chance. We have two Ethiopian places in town for me to try. But where to begin? I am very adventurous in what I eat, but truthfully I only get into new cuisines when I have friends who turn me on to them and can give input and guidance. I don't like not knowing what to order and not knowing how to eat the food properly to get the best flavors and experience. Maybe I am not truly adventurous.
So can you guide me?
What are the gateway foods that a person should try...names and description? How to eat the food, what goes with what? What flavors are the backbone of the cuisine? Tell me all about Ethiopian, inspire me to try again.