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Mar 6, 2008 01:35 PM

Oakland - Abyssinia Ethiopian Market

This small market near MacArthur has the best selection of Ethiopian groceries I've seen to date. I haven't been to Brundo yet though which from my understanding is organic.

There's a freezer case of spiced butter. The cooler has tubs of liquid unspiced butter. There are bags and bins of spices and dried legumes.

Large bags of warm injera were being put on shelves. There were a few other flat breads available.

I really liked the red lentils. They are a smaller cut than I've seen elsewhere and cooked up very quickly.

It is a little odd that they mark the bins in English but on the day I was there not much English was spoken. I asked if the yellow bags of powder were tumeric and the clerk didn't know and said it was "yellow spice". OK.

I wish they would go with the Ethiopian names instead of using English translations like "bishop's weed' or just 'red pepper'.

It is a tidy shop and everything looks fresh.

Abyssinia Market
3915 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

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  1. Brundo (Cafe Colucci's shop) has some organic stuff. Mostly not. Their Web site has both Ethiopian and English names for the stuff. Worth a visit.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I am looking for good locally made Berbere...any more recent thoughts about an Ethiopian store in Oakland?

        1. re: karenfinan

          I've been to a few places along Telegraph, including Brundo, and they only sell really large packages of Berbere (pint sized IIRC). Their restaurant is one of the better Ethiopian places in town, so it's probably good value, but it's too large a quantity unless you regularly use it.

          I recently picked up a small pouch at Specialty Foods in Old Oakland. I have no idea if it's locally made.

          1. re: hyperbowler

            Thanks, I think I can find a couple friends to share the larger size!