I was first introduced to Koba when I went to visit my grandmother in South Western part of Ethiopia at the age of nine. She had a lot Koba in her backyard and around her fence. I later learned that everyone around her has Koba. It is a thing there...not in a way that it was a trend but because people depended on it to survive.
The first full day at my grandmother's house, I saw her go to her Koba garden multiple times. In her first visit, she used the root to make us one of my favorite Ethiopian breakfasts, Bula (A porridge made from Koba roots that’s dried into a flour). Then, when she later cleaned the house, she went back to her Koba garden for the second time and brought in multiple long Koba bunches and set them all over the living room floor. I can still remember the sound they made when people walked on them. That is how people in that region decorate their house…it is like cutting up flowers and putting them on your table; they were beautiful, fresh and simple. In her third visit to her Koba garden, she cut up the leaves into smaller pieces and used them to serve us Kitfo, a delicious dish made from beef tarta, mixed with chili and spiced butter. Koba was the perfect serving plate and it is how Ethiopians serve food for holidays and special guests in that region.
Just like the Koba plant, our goal is to be a source of great food, beauty and service.