Thursday, March 12, 2009

Five Exotic Foods to Try!

When visiting foreign or exotic locations, I recommend trying some of the local fare. This has always been my philosophy when traveling.

I remember back in 1999 I was travelling through Africa. What a wonderful trip! (yesterday's post got me thinking of that life-altering adventure!)

Usually we were camping, and would go to the local market and get our food items and our cook would help us cook traditional or regional dishes over the camp fire. When we did go into restaurants, I was amazed at how often the other in my group would order "familiar" foods. Locals knew this and would usually offer a few options that they tried to pass off as British fare, North American inspired, or whatever.

When I ate in a restaurant, I would usually review the menu and then ask the server/cook/guy at the table next to me what they would suggest. I would strike up a conversation and find out what the locals usually ate. I would ask them to make me something - anything - they would make and eat. Well, let me tell you - very rarely was I ever disappointed. Plus, amazing conversations were initiated and I had the time of my life. And while my co-travellers paid top dollar ($3-$5) for their dish, I usually got a huge ethnic meal for $1.00!

One day on Prison Island - just off the coast of Zanzibar - a small group I was with stopped for lunch. It was pouring rain and there was but one building on the island - and it offered a few plates. The three gals with me immediately decided to have the chips and eggs. All three were from the UK and all three were so happy to have some "home-style" food.

I scanned the menu. Then asked the waiter for item # 2 - nope, he had no meat and the water was too rough to go to the main land. I then thought maybe item #4 - nope, all out. He suggested the Chips and Eggs!!!!

I then told the server to have the cook surprise me. He left, a bit confused. I heard him chatting in the kitchen, then he returned, he asked me if I liked fish. I replied yes. So he disappeared again. A very heated discussion went on for a few moments behind the closed door.

The door swung open.

Out came a little boy - no older than 7 or 8. He was carrying a spear and was dressed in a pair of "gauchies". He growled at me and then stomped off into the pouring rain towards the shore line.

Five minutes later he stomped back - waved his spear at me in an angry gester. Three very colourful fish wiggled by my face. The boy huffed off, dripping wet.

About 10 minutes later the server/owner/cook/father came out. My friends had very greasy, soggy potatoes with a scrambled egg on top. They were not impressed with the look, taste or smell.

I, in comparison, had one of the best meals of my life. Oh, my plate was piled high with some sort of rice/grain and vegetables and fruit - and three lovey seared fish. I thanked the man and then invited him and his son to come share my feast.

We all became fast friends - even the little guy warmed up to me! (perhaps my peace off of my baseball cap coaed him a bit!) Through broken English, gestures, grunts and pointing, we had a wonderful conversation. And the food was amazing!

Anyways - I just thought today's topic would be the joys of trying new food!

So, that said, if you ever come to The Fringe, be sure to ask to have our own domestic fare.

Here are a few Fringe domestic favorites:

1) Anway Ice Ilk

Translation: Anderson's Rice Milk
This is a new favorite for Madigan and she seems to prefer it to regular cow's milk an can tell the difference when you try to fool her!

2) Long S'getti
Translation: Spaghetti
DJ would eat this dish every day if he could. He especially likes it when meat balls form happy faces or if there is about a pound of shrimp mixed into the sauce!

3) Crappy Dinner

Translation: Kraft Dinner
All three kids love this staple. To get fancy we sometimes add cut up hot dogs or chopped up spinach and frozen veggies or even a can of tuna or a can of baked beans. It is best received when a huge happy face made out of ketchup is present!

4) Naked Bagels
Translation: Blueberry bagel with nothing on it
This is Anderson's breakfast food of choice. Some mornings, he does ask to have it "cooked". Other mornings he wants a "Daddy Bagel" which is a blueberry bagel toasted with Strawberry Lite Cream Cheese or a "Kid's bagel" which is a raisin and cinnamon bagel toasted with regular cream cheese.

5) Raisin Brown

Translation: Raisin Bran Cereal
Every morning DJ and Daddy sit down to a heaping bowl of Raisin Brown - there are two scoops of raisins in every box, don't cha know!

So, what foods do you eat in your neck of the woods??????

Quick Weight Update: At my weigh in last night I was down another 2.5 pounds. So, on Weight Watchers I have lost 5.5 pounds - bringing my total loss to 72.5 pounds. YIPPEEE!

I am really enjoying WW. The short, informative meetings are so much better than the Weight Management Program meetings. And what is more, I find the program easier to follow - and a lot more "guilt-free".

With my old program there was no where to indulge - and as an emotional eater, I would feel guilty when I did not follow the calorie count exactly and that would lead to emotional eating which would lead to more emotional eating. Now, I seem to be having a few more treats, but I am careful to work them into my eating pattern and there is no long-lingering guilt. What's more, is that I continue to loose weight. And in the end, feeling good physically, emotionally and mentally while loosing weight is the best way to keep committed and focused.
OK - enough talk of food, yummy, sinful or is now lunch time and I have three hungry little people to feed!!!


Pregnantly Plump said...

What a fun post!! Where's your birthday present suggestion, though?
Little Elvis is not the biggest fan of exotic foods right now. He loves eggs, and will happily eat a spinach laden quiche. And he also still has quite the taste for lotion, although I don't think I should recommend that...

Kat said...

I love your African adventure story. What a trip that must have been. :)
I love Kraft macaroni and cheese. The best! :)

Momisodes said...

What a fun story! I bet that was a ton of fun.

Mac & cheese with veggies and tuna are a staple in our house :)

baby harness said...

Wow! this is great for kids with less appetite!