|Myanmar Traditional Foods|
Because Myanmar has diverse geographical features, favourable seasonal conditions and is naturally endowed with fertile soil and water resources, it boasts an abundant supply of food in a great variety all year around.
Myanmar people enjoy rice as their main food and it comprises about 75% of the diet. Rice is served with meat or fish, soup, salad and vegetables all cooked in their own ways, and some relishes to complement the meal.
During meals, all the dishes are laid out on the dining table and served together so that diners can make their own choices and combinations. Although the dishes are prepared in a variety of ways, the most common method is to cook meat or fish in oil, seasoned with pounded onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili and spices, and simmer until all or most of the water evaporates. The essential and most popular condiment is a kind of relish made from preserved fish or prawn, served with chili powder.
Most traditional snacks, which are rich in variety and taste, are generally made with rice or glutinous rice.
Myanmar lies between two great and very different cultures which have influenced not only religion, culture and arts, but also the preparation of food. During the colonial period, the influx of Chinese and Indians also had an impact on Myanmar traditional food, introducing new items. With the advent of globalization and trade liberalization, most famous foods from around the world are available in the cities, yet the majority of Myanmar people still cherish their own food, ensuring that its essence and uniqueness remains unchanged.
When everything is served, people can start eating, taking small portions of dishes they like. Normally, Myanmar people eat with their fingers, but dishes are provided with serving spoons to be handles with the clean left hand. Soup is usually served in a single bowl for all the diners and is shared.
Forks and spoons, but not knives, are permitted and have become popular. The elderly and the guests are given priority by letting them take the curry first. Hosts can initiate meals by serving a spoonful of curry on guest's plates after confirming if they would like the dish.
Diners intending on having another helping of rice, should leave some unfinished rice as a signal more is wanted. Rice and curry are to be eaten together rather than separately and soup can be taken at intervals. At the conclusion of the meal, deserts such as laphet, fruit or jaggery may be served along with water, green tea or juice.
Diners serve curry and rice onto their plates. They can ask for a second helping or they can self serve if there no attendants. After the meal is finished, dessert including fresh fruits and snacks is served.