Dining in Ethiopia is characterized by the ritual of breaking "Injera" and sharing food from a common plate, signifying the bonds of loyalty and friendship. The traditional way of eating is with one's fingers. Injera is placed on the plate with a variety of "Wots", or stews, decoratively arranged on top of the Injera. A small portion of Injera is torn off and wrapped around a mouthful of the selected wot.
Injera, our staple bread, is a flat bread made of Teff, a fine grain unique to Ethiopia. Wot is a stew which maybe prepared using a variety of meats, fish, and vegetables. Wot is cooked with Berbere (Ethiopian seasoning prepared from matured red chili pepper and other exotic spices) which may range from very mild, to spicy hot. Alitcha is a more mildly spiced stew, prepared with a variety of meats or vegetables.