Archive for sri lanka

What to give the tropical island dweller who has everything (culinarily speaking).

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 28, 2011 by bridbeast

Ahhh, Sri Lanka, that verdant isle in the Indian Ocean. Spit some seeds on the ground, they say, and soon a plant will grow. It’s home to jackfruit, the world’s largest fruit, and durian, one of the smelliest. I’ve eaten Sri Lankan vegetables with no name in English, prawns bigger than the palm of your hand, tiny dried fish in bitter curries, aromatic steaming tea, raw cinnamon straight from the tree, water drawn from the well that’s so pure you could bottle it.

So what do Sri Lankans really, really lust after?

Campbell’s cup-a-soup. Nesquick. Dairy Milk chocolate. Dairy Lee cheese. Mayonaise. Sandwhich spreads. BBQ sauce. Crackers. Tinned fruit. Club biscuits.

The best of the west.

There was stuff on the back seat, too.

If it’s processed, comes in a multi-coloured plastic packet or is made by a giant corporation in a factory, they want it. (The grass is always greener, right?) So in preparation for this year’s trip to Sri Lanka we’ve been buying trolley loads of “delicacies” for the rellies and getting it shipped over to the tropics.

Showing no respect for Archie's porridge.

Pro at work.

Goodies!

Next stop - Kohuwela!

Assuming there are no Somali pirates with a taste for chocolate digestives, after 21 days on the high seas our package will arrive in Colombo ready to be dispersed around the family.

Those biccies could easily break! Not to mention the crackers.

Joining the packages for Colombo, Nugegoda, Beruwala and elsewhere.

Enjoy, folks!

Advertisements

Regional Rivalries

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 19, 2011 by bridbeast

I’m from Yorkshire, so the phrase “wrong side of the Penines” trips of my tongue quicker than I can ask for a curd tart. A year of living in Preston did little to stop me believing that Lancashire, basically, is crap. Constant rain, run down towns, saying books so it rhymes with flukes. It’s just the almost-but-not-quite-like-Yorkshire-ness of the place.

Growing up with one of England’s basic regional animosities bred into me has made it surprisingly easy to pick up others. Five years ago I moved in with Lesh and her family. They’re Sri Lankan, and if there’s one thing that unites Sri Lankans, it’s this: a deep and abiding hatred of India.

The broad contours of this hatred will be familiar to any Brit who loathes Americans. Indians are loud, boorish and uncouth. Poorly educated, they know little beyond their own huge country. Their food is too greasy and they are prone to bouts of religious extremism.

The details are more subcontinental. Sri Lankans have the hottest food. Colombo’s beggars are fewer and less deformed than Delhi’s. Had the Indians lost the recent world cup final with Sri Lanka, enraged fans might have tried to burn the players’ houses down. That would never happen in Sri Lanka.

And as surely as I’ve learned to love rice, I’ve begun to pick up a little of this regional rivalry. I was eating dinner with an Indian friend in a Delhi restaurant. She ordered a plate of chillied prawns, ate a couple, and started fanning her mouth in desperation. We swapped plates.

“Not so bad,” I said. “Compared to our food.”