Thursday, September 11, 2008

How much rice can that kid eat?!?!:

Hold out both of your hands like a bowl, and imagine that you are holding a heaping pile of cooked rice. Now triple it, and picture yourself eating it 3 times a day. I would consider that a conservative estimate of how much rice people here eat. Even Jeremy would be hard pressed to eat as much as an eight year old Malagasy girl.
In Madagascar, there are 3 parts to a meal: rice, a side dish (loka or ro) and ranomapongo. Along with the rice, there will be one or two loka, the first is usually beans, meat or sometimes pounded greens. The second will be a shredded or sliced raw vegetable on the plateau, where such things are widely available. Ranompongo is a fantastic drink made by boiling water in the pot you just cooked rice in. The burnt rice at the bottom makes a tea that tastes like...burnt rice. Maybe you have to try it to appreciate it, but it is fantastic.
Food is largely dependent on region. For unknown reasons, all the vegetables are grown on the Plateau and shipped to the coast, and fruits go the other way. As a result, vegetables are unappealing and expensive here on the coast, but were fantastic on the Plateau. Rice is grown everywhere that there is water, potatoes in the south where there is none.
My new favorite food is called soupe chiniose garnie. This is Chinese soup, written in French, served Malagasy style. Basically it is ramen soup with dumplings, meat, eggs and sometimes vegetables. I can get a huge bowl for 2,000 ariary at lunch and not need to eat dinner.


Gail said...

How much is 2000?
Can't wait to try some. MA

Michelle Moore said...


Your blog is so delightful! Thank you for sharing...I love hearing about all the interesting details about your travels!!