Why Africans Eat In The Middle


Have you ever wondered why some parts of Africa eat together in the middle?

It’s not a thing of surprise for it has been a culture practised in most parts of the world for ages.

In some parts of Africa, all courses are served in a large plate — made of clay in the good old days but now a china — surrounded by family members or friends or both to wine and dine as one.

This is usually done not with an appetizer or dessert, but with the main meal. The idea of appetizer and dessert was never a thing in the first place. 

Sometimes it depends on the food. I should say most times, because you don’t see a group of men or women surrounding a large plate of ramen holding chopsticks or sipping coffee in a large mug in the morning.

Ethiopians are popular for eating in the middle to foster unity. You kinda wonder if eating using different plates and on the same table fails to build that bond among people or maintain the sense of familyhood.  

When Ethiopians eat together, they eat most of the time with their right hands. Sorry if you’re left-handed, you still have to try. 

In Africa, merely passing money to someone using the left hand is frowned upon, talkless of eating with it. The right hand is respected for not being the guy that accompanies you to the restroom. 

Ethiopians like many other Africans enjoy their cuisine using bare hands and not a fork to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes using injera, a large sourdough flatbread.

People across the world try to eat like Africans now — to have a feel of the rich African culture. There’s no better place to have that feeling than home 🙂

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.

Scroll to Top
X