During my first semester at McGill I would often wander into the SSMU building, heading for the green corner where Organic Campus is stationed to see what free samples I could snag that day.
Now, being a volunteer for the group and having tasted most of the Ethiopian specialty foods and breads offered, I can completely understand the students’ draw to that corner for little squares of free bread. I can’t say I don’t catch myself reaching for the daily samples absentmindedly…
Organic campus is a SSMU affiliated volunteer group that seeks to promote healthy eating and organic farming. The foods are made by by Berhanu Wassihun, who owns a small family farm about 1.5 hours away from Montreal. There, he grows organic produce and prepares Ethiopian specialty foods.
Here I have listed the top Organic Campus products to try before graduating, along with suggestions for what they can be paired with. (Note: all the breads are $4)
1. Ginger bread
Personally, this one is my absolute favorite. With its rich honey-brown hue and perfect balance between sweetness and the taste of ginger, this bread can be devoured in seconds.
2. Banana bread
Watch out Grandma, you have competition with Berhanu’s bread. Warm it up in the oven, spread your favorite nut butter on it and voila, an irresistible treat has been created before your very eyes.
3. Sweet potato cinnamon bread
Sweet potatoes + cinnamon = bread? You got that right. Think of this bread as a giant cinnamon roll made with sweet potatoes. It is sugary yet ever so tasty and completely worth indulging in. Add some vanilla ice cream and drizzle some caramel over it, and you’ve created a masterpiece.
In turn, this bread also comes in an ooey gooey cinnamon roll form.
4. Apple bread
Another one of my favorites. This gluten-free option is sweet, delicate and rich with chopped apple. The presence of actual apple pieces makes for a terrific texture.
5. Date bread
Though less tantalizing than the other breads, it is also delicious and is gluten-free.
For a savory alternative, try this Ethiopian vegetable fritter that will melt in your mouth with every bite. It is a little bit on the oily side, but at $2, it is definitely worth giving a try when you’re craving some fried food.
This flatbread flavored with honey and herbs is very versatile as it doesn’t have a particularly strong taste. Try heating it up in the oven with garlic and butter, and you’ve got yourself some mouthwatering Ethiopian garlic bread for $1.50.