The Scoop on the Veganicity of Ethiopian Foods

May 26, 2008

This past week, I posted a photo of an amazing platter served at an Ethiopian restaurant. Soon after, I got an email from a reader questioning whether Ethiopian food often contains clarified butter, or “kibur.” For several reasons, not the least of which was cost, I doubted that this was widespread, but I posted the question to

I just got an email about this from Dawn, who seems about as well-informed on the subject as a person could be. She writes:

I saw your post about Ethiopian food using clarified butter. I have been to over a dozen Ethiopian restaurants, and only one of them used clarified butter. In Ethiopia, many Christians are vegan for lent, so generally Ethiopian vegetarian cuisine is vegan. However, Eritrean restaurants typically do use clarified butter. Perhaps your reader was getting the two confused. If you call the restaurant in advance, they will be happy to tell you. I have always gotten a straight answer from Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants on whether they use butter or vegetable oil.

Nice to have clear information about one of the tastiest vegan-friendly cuisines.

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