ETHIOPIA - MARCH 18: Terraced fields, Lake Ashenge in the background, Ethiopia. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Food - Drink
What Makes Ethiopia's Ancient Grain Farming Practice Unique?
Maslin is one of the combinations of ancient intercropping that involve mixing species and varieties of grain in the same field. Ethiopia is one of many countries whose history includes maslin, yet it's one of the only countries still growing it.
In addition to being part of the old East African spice trade, Ethiopia has also historically relied upon its native grains and protein sources. As such, Ethiopian cuisine is a blend of earthy, sour, spicy, and tart flavors, and maslin is an integral part of that complexity.
Maslin lost its global popularity because advances in agriculture have made cultivating single-grain fields easier and more productive. However, Ethiopia and its few fellow maslin growers like Georgia and Poland may not be alone forever because the sustainable benefits of intercropping make maslin well-suited for challenges like climate change.