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The Legend of Tej

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 26, 2010 7:00PM

Honey Wine.jpg During a visit to Demera a couple of weeks ago, a waiter pointed out that the restaurant served a special Ethiopian honey wine. Even better, he said, one variety was actually made in-house. We were instantly sold, and thus began our first experience with Tej. A traditional drink similar to mead, Tej is fermented from honey and flavored with various herbs and spices, including buckthorn.

Tej matches perfectly with Ethiopian food. It’s relatively low alcohol content doesn’t exacerbate the burn of spicy food (try a shot of whiskey after eating chili peppers and you’ll see what we mean) and the sweet, mellow flavor cuts right through the savory spices. It has a bit more of an “edge” than most of the mead we’ve had; it tastes more fermented, almost like a yeast-based cider rather than a wine. At less than $20 a bottle, it’s definitely a must-do.

Demera is located at 4801 N. Broadway