“Gursha”, means a mouthful of delicious food, handed to you with care.
The meaning and sentiment of that word was the inspiration for Mimi Sheriff’s Gursha, a catering company specializing in Ethiopian cuisine, and the only Ethiopian food vendor in St. John’s.
Mimi says “Ethiopian food is a celebration, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.” An Ethiopian plate is traditionally an explosion of colour, flavour and scent designed to bring together good company, good conversation, and the moments that our lives are made of.”
Gursha’s choices cover the full range of preferences, from vegan to meat to gluten-free. All dishes are slow-cooked with care and with authentic imported Ethiopian spices and local vegetables in season. All the sauces are eaten together with injera, a sourdough type pancake made with tef, the Ethiopian grain. (Tef is gluten-free and packed with nutrition, and currently making waves in the health community).
When Mimi says her food is meant to be shared and experienced, she means it! In Ethiopian custom, hands rather than cutlery are used for eating, and feeding someone a special gursha – skillfully assembled with a piece of injera – is a sign of respect and love. “The method of eating is slightly different,” says Mimi with a smile, “but the joy of sharing a meal is the same as the Newfoundland tradition.” There are other similarities too. Gursha’s “ Kik Alicha” is remarkably similar to Nan’s pea soup.
Gursha is a regular at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, and after people try it for the first time, they return with their own containers to take home and share. Meanwhile, Mimi is cooking up a scenario where the food is plated in the Ethiopian tradition on a big platter to share. Be ready to join in the joy of eating, Ethiopian style.