African Rhythm & Roots Festival 2016, Marrickville

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We were at The Graff Caff when we noticed a postcard for an African Rhythm and Roots Festival at the Addison Rd Community Centre in Marrickville. It was also here that we were first introduced to African food at their monthly Street Food Markets. We love the melting pot of flavours that make up African food so we were very keen to try it again!

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Mafé and couscous

First, we decided to try some food from a stall set up by Lat-dior, an African eatery in Enmore serving up food from all over Africa.

We really liked the sound of the Mafé and Couscous. This was a first for us and it was interesting to know what “lamb steamed with a dash of peanut butter and African spices” tasted like. The lamb was very soft and worked well with the fluffy couscous. Personally, the peanut butter did take some getting used to but after a few bites it really started to grow on me. I’d be really keen to visit their Enmore store and try out more of their menu.

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Bissap

Bissap is a very sweet flower drink made from the hibiscus plant. It is very common in Senegal and is sold on every busy street, train station, bus depot and stadium there. This drink was a perfect accompaniment to the Mafé and tasted of cranberry with an additional herbal quality to it. You can find Bissap at Lat-Dior to wash down the heavy African dishes they offer.

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Injera & Ethiopian stews

Till now, Injera and Ethiopian stews were the only experience we’ve had with African food. Injera is a spongy sourdough flatbread (almost like a pancake) and is usually served with an assortment of stews, as presented above. The injera does a great job of absorbing the flavours of the stews and the hint of sourness works with pretty much anything.

With the injera, we had Kik Alicha (yellow split pea stew), Atkilt Wot (potato and cabbage stew), Key Wot (beef stew) and Msir Wot (an interesting lentil stew that actually tastes a lot like Bolognese sauce!).

The injera and stews were made by a very friendly lady based in Blacktown called Meteku. She doesn’t do stalls and has no shops, much to the disappointment of my girlfriend, and only does food to order. We felt very lucky to try her food!

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The festivals at the Addison Road Community Centre are a real opportunity to learn more about all different kinds of culture from all different kinds of people. Whenever we go there, it’s impossible not to feel welcome and part of a huge community. This festival and the community centre are a great reminder of the melting pot of cultures that Sydney really is.

We love what the Addison Road Community Centre does and appreciate its value. We encourage you to check them out here and keep an eye out for more of their events.

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