I’ve never shaved my head before.  The shortest I have ever had it cut was just above my shoulders when I was a teenager.  I didn’t care for the short hair style on me very much. As much as shaving my head would be a radical First Time Friday post I am going to go a different route.

I have had many different ideas and as I was frantically trying to find the most interesting one to do and share I decided that I’ll choose something not as radical as shaving my head this time around since I’ve got 7 First Time Friday experiences to share with you anyway.

Sometimes we get stuck in our day to day routines without trying anything new.  And if we don’t expand our horizons we won’t know that we actually have more interests than we thought.  First Time Friday is a great way to get out there and challenge myself or yourself to try some new things.  If I didn’t try yoga for the first time in high school and college that might not have planted the seed of me becoming a Yoga Teacher later in life.  I may have never known that I would have been led down the Yoga Teacher path had I not attempted a few classes.

Today I am tried Ethiopian food for the first time.  I went to a restaurant in Oakland, CA called Cafe Colucci.

The atmosphere was authentic Ethiopian with a mix of American.  The aroma of the spices when you first walk in get your mouth watering.  The tables they had were glass top shadow box tables with their unique spices that they use inside of them.  So colorful and pretty to see the spices they use displayed like this as art.  There were figurines, paintings, woven baskets, traditional incised vases, and woven tapestries hanging from the ceiling.

The first thing we decided to try was their traditional beverage.  Kuti is a traditional coffee leaf tea.  It tasted like a mild, watered down version of American coffee.  It also didn’t have a burnt flavor to it which was nice.

We started out with veggie sambussas.  They were similar to samosas (Indian food) which I have tried and love.  These sambussas were filled with sautéed lentils, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, green onions and spices in a wonton-like wrapper.  Lightly fried and served with a semi-spicy red dipping sauce.  These were delicious!!

We then dove into the vegetarian plate with the teff flour (gluten free) option for the bread.  Their bread is called injera and is similar to a crepe.  It was flat, had a spongy texture and a tangy flavor.  It’s fermented over several days to get that sourdough flavor.  The vegetarian plate was a combination of azifa (cold lentil salad), buticha (chickpea spread; reminded me of chickpea hummus), messer wot (red lentil stew; it tasted like barbecued beans), kik alicha (yellow split pea stew; looked like creamed corn), gomen (collard green type of vegetable) and atakilt (cabbage, potato and carrot stew).  The dish was deep in flavor.  Each dollop of food had a unique and distinct taste and texture.

It was an interesting experience to not use utensils.  The way you eat the food without utensils is to tear off a small piece of the injera (bread)  and scoop up the food you would like to eat.  The left hand is considered unclean in Ethiopian culture, so it’s best to eat with your right hand.  We ended the meal with the crispy, flaky and sweet baklava.  It had just the right amount of honey and cinnamon spice.

I am so glad that I decided to give Ethiopian food a try.  I have already started researching recipes to try and make some authentic food at home.  If you’ve never tried this type of food, I suggest you research some restaurants in your area and give it a try.




Cafe Colucci in Oakland, CA
Cafe Colucci in Oakland, CA
Inside entrance
Glass shadow box table with spices
Kuti, coffee leaf tea
Veggie sambussa
Veggie sambussa
Injera, teff flour bread
Injera, teff flour bread
Vegetarian plate
Woven baskets

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