Ethiopia: ማር

Honey! Honey bread, honey wine and honey bees… buzzz… buzzzzz

Ethiopia is by far the largest producer of honey in Africa and they are also one of the largest honey producers in the world. This liquid gold has been valued for centuries for its flavor, medicinal properties and universal appeal. Did you know, one of the best things to put on a wound is honey? Its true! Honey is a natural antibiotic, it will kill any harmful bacteria and aid in healing. Honey has been enjoyed for as long as humans have had a written history. Fascinatingly, if you were to find a perfectly preserved 1,000 year old jar of honey, you could crack it open and eat it straight from the jar and it would be just as good as if it was made the day before. Honey is awesome.

Honey Bee: Craft and Activity

To better understand what bees do, we made our own buzzing friends.

You will need…
1 pom pom per bee
1 pipe cleaner per bee

Wrap the pipe cleaner around the pom pom and use the excess to make wings- be sure to tuck in the ends of the pipe cleaners since they can be sharp.

Next we flew our bees around the house to any and all flowers, gathering “pollen”. We flew to real flowers, fake flowers, flowers in books, and flowers we made during our week in Romania 🙂

Finally, we made block beehives for our bees to come home to.

Ethiopian Spiced Honey Bread

This bread is delicious but I made one major change to this recipe…. one of the main spices is coriander. My husband has the thing where cilantro tastes like soap and coriander is from the same plant. So I was fearful that the bread would taste like soap if I used the coriander. I did some digging and learned that cardamom is widely used in Ethiopian cooking and pairs really well with cinnamon so that’s what I used and boy howdy was it delicious! The recipe calls for 1 tsp of coriander so I replaced it with 1 tsp of cardamom. You can find the recipe I used here.

Martin did a great job kneading the dough- a great technique for kids is the punch and fold- punch down the dough, fold it and repeat. I opted for the braided loaf mainly because I think it looks pretty 🙂 I enjoyed this so much with butter and cup of hot coffee…. simply heaven.

Tej- Ethiopian Honey Wine

Honey mixed with white wine, need I say more? Tej is made and enjoyed all over Ethiopia and it was a lovely Mommy treat at the end of a long child-wrangling day.


  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups white wine

I made a 1/2 recipe and these are the quantities I used:

  • 2.5 Tbs + 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine

In a small sauce pan combine water and honey, stir to combine. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally till the honey dissolves completely. Remove from the heat and allow it cool.

Once the honey water mixture is room temperature mix in the white wine and store in a glass decanter or recycled jelly jar in my case.

Best enjoyed chilled, with your feet up 🙂

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