Friday, March 13, 2015

Myanmar Snacks!

Food is very important in Myanmar, there are many traditions around food. If you have a guest at your house you usually offer them Lah pet thoke. This is fermented tea leaf salad, the most traditional snack.

Fermented, but not dried, tea is salted and soaked in cold water several times and wrung out hard to extract as much of the bitter and astringent flavors as possible. Then it's dressed in lemon juice, oil, sesame seeds, salt and sugar. It's served with crispy fried garlic with sesame seeds and crispy fried beans. The flavor is sour, the lingering astringent aspect of the tea leaves dry and pucker your mouth. Overall it's not my favorite food, I think it's one of those things that you have to grow to like. But hey, when traveling in countries like this you never turn away a gift.

Freshly roasted cashews

Normally I like cashews, they are tasty, great texture, good flavor. They don't grow anywhere near Wisconsin so they are always imported. I was pretty sure I knew what a cashew was all about. Good, but nothing to write a blog post about.

Holy crackerjacks batman! I was wrong. Freshly roasted cashews still hot from the roaster are a whole other thing. It's like you've been eating discount sushi from the Midwest my whole life... then you eat sushi in Japan. The texture, the flavor, and everything about the experience is more intensely and utterly "cashew". They came with a little pile of salt to dip each nut into, the heat of the cashew made them slightly moist on the outside with essential oils.

Maybe I'll have to do a whole post just on cashews, they are a very interesting nut. If only I knew a cashew expert...

Hey look, it's a bowl of corn. I'm from the Midwest, why am I eating corn in Myanmar? That's because it's poop your pants good (Never trust a fart when subsisting on street food in a third world country).

Freshly grilled corn with lightly fried shallots. It's sweet, it has an onion bite, and I think they toss it with some unfiltered palm oil for a creamy, silky mouth feel. We kept ordering plate after plate... I regret nothing.

Snacks snacks snacks!


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