The famous Enrico Bakery

by Andrew Stein

One of the highlights of today was our trip to the Enrico Bakery.  This bakery, which has been around for at least 50 years, makes a couple pastries that are known citywide and they are sold out minutes after taking them out of the oven.  Therefore, Harya and I venture over with some time to spare to ensure that I get to try this delicious treat from her childhood.  We get there a little on the early side because we hear that these delectable items are supposed to emerge around 3pm.  In the next half an hour, nothing appears except for more and more people that are clamoring for their snack.  Harya and I are meanwhile seated at a table near the window watching a girl no more than three years old sprint circles around the bakery.  Eventually, the impatience level rises among all of the customers, and Harya and I feel that the moment is near.  We agree that I will watch the table while she sneaks her way to the counter to collect our cakes.  She returns early and I am impressed not only by her ability to navigate the shop, but also by the taste of these pastries that have just been built up in my mind over the last hour.  We order more than we can eat because the price is relatively inexpensive and anything that we don’t eat, we are sure that we’ll be able to find others who will.

After the bakery, Harya and I walk through much of Addis Ababa taking in the sights, smells, and scenery.  We take turns holding the leftovers from the bakery and I later learn that based on the wrapper surrounding these extra pieces of cake, most people passing us can suspect what we are holding.  I had assumed that the funny looks coming in my direction had been because I don’t exactly fit in with the other people walking the streets of Addis, but I now think that it is probably a combination that includes my holding such a desirable snack.  When discussing said cakes amongst Harya’s friends later in the evening, I learn that some received them as treats for doing well in school or not crying when visiting the doctors or on very special occasions.  The Enrico Bakery with its very unassuming storefront seems to have been a delicious part of life in Addis for many years.

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