Sunday, August 18, 2019

'Burma Superstar'

Burmese cuisine is hard to find in Europe. Personally, altough considering myself both well-travelled and well-feed, with experience in various diverse kitchen from around the world, I can't remember one single Burmese restaurant. Otherwise, I would have know a little bit about this cuisine, before starting to read Burma Superstar.
Therefore, I've read this book as a non-fiction one, more than as an account about the menu served in Oakland's restaurant with the same name. A foodie fix in the area for decades, with affiliates inaugurated in other destinations across the USA, Burma Superstar mixes the gourmet inspiration with the basic ingredients of the meals - most of them street food - served in this part of the world.
A popular neighbourhood restaurant is able to reflect in its menu the culinary Asian melting pot. Which is a good news, especially for those aiming at reproducing those recipes at home, as you can easily find ingredients in the various Asian/Indian stores from across the world. You can easily find the spices and the sauces - oyster or Sriracha - the oils and the specific oils and the rice, the special spinach. The only thing I am not sure I can find is the laphet - the tea, used not only for the brewed drink, but usually in salads or as a dried snack. Something I might be interested to find and try out more about soon.
But besides the laphet, there are many more recipes to try, like various curries and salads, dish and dried lentils or samosas. The list of the ingredients is long and it might take a time until getting used to the flavors but adding them to the recipe is easier than expected. You only have to add them to the pan and learn how much time you need to mix them until you obtain a completely new taste out of all the diverse flavors. Beware, the Burmese cuisine is using generous amounts of oil.
The book introduces Burma/Myanmar not only as a food destination but also scatters various political and historical references - mostly Wikipedia style, neutral and not necessarily critical, but for someone finding out about this country it can be a steady beginning.
What I've found a bit under my usual visual standards was the photography, but when it comes to visual representations, everything at a great extent is relative. I love the kind of photography which completes and beautifies the writing and makes the wording attractive which was not the case here.
Personally, I would not hurry up to prepare any recipe at home until I will eventually have a taste of the professionally prepared one. For the sake of the authenticity, I need to figure out first how my personal creation should taste like. But I am so looking forward to it.

Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Banana (with) Bread for Breakfast

Nothing compares to be than starting the day with a heavy, delicious breakfast. During the week or in the weekend, I always appreciate a rich selection of ingredients and a very diverse range of treats. 
Breakfast is holy for me, and besides the coffee, I cannot properly start the day without a good taste of it. I remember how many summers ago, as I had a job that required to be in the office between 7.30 and 8.00, I was up as early as 5 am in order to prepare everything I needed for my breakfast. And people who know me in real life are pretty aware how much I appreciate the long morning sleep.
As I moved countries and new ingredients and products entered - or exited - my life, my breakfast list also changed. I added cereals, fruits, I reduced the amount of meat. When I travel and I enjoy the pleasure of a ready made breakfast, I might add even some spoons of pasta. Brunches are my favorites too, especially if they start at 9am and finish around 13.00. Yes, because I also love to have long breakfasts, for at least one hour, while I am reading my latest emails, planning the day, updating the news. This is my kind of meditation. 
As usual, I am always open to new ideas and inspiration. And as in the last months, I had to eat a lot of honey - more about this in a next post, maybe - I wanted to combine the honey with some other ingredients to produce even a higher sugar overload. 
I had a look in the fridge and in the pantry and decided for the following combination: slices of banana, a generos layer of honey and a spread of black sesame seeds on the top. The basis: toasted white bread.
The preparation takes maximum 10 minutes - if goes faster if you are not lazy and you are a fast person as me. It's full of energy and it also has an interesting combination of tastes - I particularly loved the balance brought by the black sesame. 
All I needed for a successful start into the day!