Food

Street Food in Dakar & Suburbs (4): The Construction

On every street corner, too, various street food outlets compete for customers with other types of businesses. These places are either "canteens" or garages of houses transformed into catering spaces with a large table and wooden benches around for customers, or metal or wooden kiosks glued to a wall or by the roadside.

The materials used are numerous: stainless steel or plastic or glass containers, spoons, dishes, a gas bottle or coal furnace, plastic basins for laundry, a few 20-litre oil cans recycled into water reserves and a stack of newspaper used as packaging.

Enforcing the quality of Organic tea production

“Shoulder basket brand” pickled tea leaf with sesame is the very first product in Myanmar (See figure – 1) Fertilizers, as well as insecticides, have not been used in tea plantations. The forty-year-old “shoulder basket brand” pickled tea leaf company owner said “In our company, export goods are manufactured hygienically and attractively. However, goods for local consumption are not produced properly. Like foreigners, indigenous people are human beings. So many diseases occur in Myanmar because of consuming unhygienic food.

Seasonal tea cultivation calendar

Tea cultivation and production in a four-stage yearly cycle. From December to February, the villagers tend their tea plots. In the second stage, which is from March to April, they harvest and produce a type of dried tea called the shwe hpi variant. The third stage is the 4-month fermented tea-making season from May to August. The type of tea harvested and fermented in this season is called khat kant tea. The last stage is the hnin tat dried tea season from September to November. 

Centennial tea tree

In addition to the Buddha and Nats, bicentennial tea trees are held in great reverence in Kyushaw society as benefactors and are worshipped by Kyushaw villagers. As sacred trees, the leaves of these old trees are never plucked. Every year on the full-moon day of the month of Tabaung (late February to early March), around the time of the first tea leaf harvests, the owner of the land where the bicentennial tea tree stands dresses it in “golden robes” i.e., they gild the tea tree in gold leaves using ripe bananas as glue.

Myanmar proverbs regarding eating pickled tea leaf

There are several proverbs regarding the taste of pickled tea, Myanmar’s traditional food. The proverbs concerning pickled tea are well-known cultural norms and people like to use them. The table shows the proverbs in two languages, Myanmar and English translation.

In the proverbs concerning pickled tea leaves, Myanmar people’s culture, thinking, belief, and social value can be seen. They use proverbs when they would like to express their ideas and emotions.

Picking style

Tea pickers mainly use their thumb and index fingers, which are stained black from the repeated exposure to tannin from the tea leaves. To avoid this, the pickers now use gloves. For storing the picked tea leaves, tea pickers mostly use wicker baskets called paline in Burmese. After the paline are filled with tea leaves, they are brought back down from the tea hills on a shoulder yoke. Tea picking starts from sunrise and continues through until sunset. 

Tea leaf : Eating habit

Some food can be eaten by chewing, others can be eaten by licking and swallowing. As for pickled tea leaf, it is eaten by nibbling and swallowing. If the fermented tea leaf is pickled in peanut oil or sesame oil, it becomes soft and tender. Ancient Myanmar people used to eat pickled tea leaves by

sandwiching them between the thumb and forefinger. Almost every household entertains the guests to pickled tea leaves and green tea. It shows that it is the way how Myanmar people especially those who live in districts entertain the guests.    

Red Tomatoes, Green Houses

At an altitude of 3000 meters, Khamje is a tiny village with a handful of houses in the Solukhumbu region of north-eastern Nepal. The mountains in Nepal are not considered hospitable to a variety of food, and most of the country’s food production is centered in the hilly region and the Terai (Southern Nepal). Dawa Phuti Sherpa (woman pictured here) is seasoned in mountain farming and animal husbandry, and has spent most of her life in Khamje. The red tomatoes, and the large pumpkin shown here are grown in her recently-built greenhouse.

Gochujang Making in Sunchang County, South Korea

Gochujang, a type of red pepper paste is one of the key ingredients in the South Korean cuisine. It is made from gochu-garu (chili powder), glutinous rice, meju (fermented soybean) powder, yeotgireum (barley malt powder), and salt. It is produced through years of fermenting in earthenware. Sunchang County is the main producer of Gochujang in South Korea and holds a distinctive recipe comparing to elsewhere in South Korea.

The Variety of Hospital Food in the Netherlands

This is breakfast at HMC Westeinde hospital in The Hague, the Netherlands. Every morning, the ‘breakfast cart’ comes along to each patient’s bedside, where the patient is offered a choice of white, wholegrain or raisin bread with butter, margarine, cheese or jam. Alternatively, patients can opt for a cereal (only one choice, an off-brand cornflake) with milk. Alongside this, you can choose to drink tea, coffee (both with or without milk, sugar and sweeteners) or apple or orange juice. You are also offered one hard-boiled egg.

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