food! • 04.03.11
So I’ve gotten a ton of emails full of questions lately. I’m going to answer them one at a time. Here’s today’s question:
What’s the food like in Madagascar?
I don’t really have enough space (or time in the day) to talk about all the foods that I love (miss) from Madagascar. Here are my highlights.
DELICIOUS! Look at those chompers. That was one magnificent grilled fish (lunch at the Nautilus Hotel in Ifaty). See that rice? Malagasy people eat more rice per capita than people in China. Three times a day. You won’t be required to eat rice three times a day, but you certainly can!
Above, the meal I had at the Hotel Solidaire Mangily. Among the top 10 meals I’ve ever had in Madagascar. Filet of fish with some veggie cream sauce. When you’re on the coast, my number one piece of advice is this: EAT SEAFOOD. All the time, every day.
Fried deliciousness. Nems are like spring rolls, sambos are like samosas, mofo balls are sweetish fried dough, mofo ‘gasy are little discs made of rice flour (sort of sweet, very dense, filling for breakfast), katless are my FAVORITE – they’re little balls of mashed potatoes mixed with ground beef and spices that are then fried.
LOOK, more rice. With home-made sausage and sauteed greens. There are a million types of greens in Madagascar, all different types of ananas. Kale, spinach, watercress, types of leaves that I’ve seen before but don’t know what they’re called in English. A real traditional Malagasy meal is pounded cassava leaves (ravitoto) mixed with pork. When done correctly, this can be mouth-watering.
Of course, there are some Malagasy dishes that may not be quite as delicious as one would hope. Pig ear, cow mouth, chicken stomach and neck, animal innards in a lovely broth, all manner of feet … you can avoid these menu items easily, but adventurous eaters will certainly be able to sample some intriguing gastronomical creations.