A Djiboutian Culinary Adventure

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Almost three decades ago, my friend Lola and I were in deep discussions as to where we travel for our winter break. We were doing a year abroad at the American University in Cairo and the cheap cost of travel in the area gave us many options. Political conflicts, however, took some of them away. We decided that the best way to go about it was to look at a map of the area – and that's how we came upon Djibouti. "Djibouti? Is that a real country?" one of us said. Neither had ever heard of it. We immediately decided that that's where we would go for our holiday. Alas, that was not to be. We shared these plans with our friend Stewart who had actually been to Djibouti and told us that the only thing to see was the port. Plus airplane tickets there ended up being too expensive.

We went to Greece instead, but I've always been fond of Djibouti – a country about which I still know too little. I have, however, learned some about its cuisine which seems to be a hopscotch of dishes from different areas. As Djibouti has been a trading center between the Middle East/South Asia and Africa, that is not surprising.

Unfortunately, I was not impressed by any of the Djiboutian dishes I made.