by Mike Sula
Chechebsa, or kita firfir, is an Ethiopian breakfast/snack food that at first glance looks like it's going to provide the same sort of satisfying, amplified dental workout as a jawful of Fritos. On the contrary, these shredded pieces of flatbread (not the fermented injera) fried in spiced, clarified butter and berbere are soft, almost chewy. Despite the butter, they aren't at all greasy, and though they look positively explosive, they give off a mounting, gentle burn.
You can find small containers of it at the tiny but impressively stocked Kukulu Market in Edgewater, along with a large library of dried spices, green Ethiopian coffee, several different varieties of injera (made with different grains), containers of berbere, and the aforementioned butter, called niter kibbeh. There are books and videos in Amharic too.
Kukulu Market, 6129 N. Broadway, 773-262-3169