Magnum and Passion Fruit
Juice is a big part of the cuisine here. Most shops that sell fruits and vegetables roadside are also making fresh juice in the back. In more upper class neighborhoods there are shops that specialize only in juice. The most common juices are avocado, mango, papaya, guava and pineapple.
But outside of Addis, where specialty fruits are available, things are getting creative.
I tasted this juice for the first time when I drove through Shashemene en route to the Bale Mountains two years ago. My colleague (who has since showed me many other remarkable eating establishments) instructed our driver to pull over and led me through a corrugated tin fence. Inside was a wonderfully green and flowered area with outdoor seats and friendly waitresses.
I drank 3 juices that day.
Mikael with freshly made juices
Our favorite juice is Magnum: a blend of banana and peanuts. They also have hibiscus juice (sorel), passion fruit, and custard apple with milk (gheesta be wetet) when in season.
Mikael, the son of the owner, is the most food-conscious Ethiopian we’ve encountered. He enthusiastically explained to us how they’ve taught small-scale farmers how to grow hibiscus for their juices organically, stressing how horrible pesticide use can be. He also told us that once they boil the flowers they add a 10-spice mixture, although he wouldn’t share what those spices were!
Before we sucked down our juices, we had an order of tibs cooked by Mikael. One of the first times we’ve witnessed a man in the kitchen here in Ethiopia, further proving how serious he is about food. However, he swears his father is a better cook.
Juices are made daily in large batches and kept in buckets in the fridge. All of the water used in the juices is boiled so it is safe to drink. And drink you should!
T&W Restaurant has been open for 12 years and should not be missed when traveling south to somewhere like Hawassa, the Bale Mountains or Omo Valley.
When coming from Addis, the road forks just before you hit Shashemene. Take the left fork and T&W Restaurant is located across the street from the Lily of the Valley Hotel, next door to the TAF fuel station. The restaurant is unmarked.