Ethiopians serve their food on top of injera, a large pancake-like bread made out of fermented flour from a grain called teff. More injera is served alongside the meal. Small pieces are torn off and used to pick up bites of the food using one hand, usually the right hand. No utensils are used. The bottom injera on the plate is especially delicious as it has soaked up the sauces and juices from the meal.
The traditional table is a mesob woven from straw. It has a lid that is kept on until time to eat. In Ethiopia, a basin of water and soap is brought out for washing one’s hands before serving the food. When the food is ready, the top is taken off of the mesob and the food is placed in the mesob. When the meal is finished, the basin of water and soap is brought back out for the hands to be washed again.