Myanmar: Land of delicate discoveries

Once again, food rituals and sharing in general are always such a magnifying glass through which to discover a culture. I brought back two or three from a recent trip to Myanmar to give you a taste and an incentive to discover that country.

True street food can be daring for a Western stomach whenever you travel to another country… but if it’s thoroughly cooked the risk is obviously lower.

"Lover cakes" for sale
“Lover cakes” for sale

I found this delicate little cake called “lover cake” –  two pieces, symbolizing two lovers, are cooked separately before being put together, sometimes with different stuffing.

As well, there’s no risk to taste the famous rice crackers – large snacks made of rice extracts (mostly under stone pressure; the red one from the mountains is the most expensive), pan fried for a few seconds like a crêpe, dried for a few hours under the sun, and finally cooked for no more than a couple of seconds either under many little hot stones or straight over some charcoal (see picture), giving this unique taste and crispy texture.

Rice cakes drying in the sun...
Rice cakes drying in the sun…
...and being crisped over charcoal...
…and being crisped over charcoal…
...and sold to hungry passersby.
…and sold to hungry passersby.

Finally, try to share a lunch with the monks. Temples in Myanmar are not only for worship, but also for social events. I was lucky to be invited by the local community to share the lunch they had prepared for the monks. Musical, spiritual, tasty, unforgettable.