While traveling in Sri Lanka (sigh..was that only two weeks ago now?) Neil and I had many days that were deemed “Days of food”. These occurred when every activity, movement, motion of the day revolved around breakfast, lunch, dinner and multiple snack/shake breaks. Seriously we were always eating….hunger didn’t exist on these days, you were full before your brain had even remotely registered hunger. I suppose they could also be called “Days of being so stuffed your locomotion is seriously impaired”, but “Days of food” does have a better ring to it…not to mention being slightly more to the point. Usually this happened when we were leaving a particularly small hiccup of a town and had simply found too many amazing meals.
The food in Sri Lanka is incredible. Mouthwatering. Unique. It was just featured on the Lonely Planet website as a “Haven for foodlovers”. Yup that’s me, food lover. But I’m not just a lover of all food…nope nope, I’m a lover of GOOD food. Sorry does that sound pretentious? Unintentional…I’m just picky. By the end of my trip in lovely, flavor-rich Sri Lanka I could tell you where I’d eaten the best potato curry, the best dahl, the best pol sambol (ground coconut with lemon, chili, onion and tomato used to flavor dishes), the best pumpkin curry, the best papadams, the best string hoppers and coconut roti….shakes, sweet pancakes and thick buffalo curd with honey. Some travelers I talked to dropped their jaws when I said I was star struck with the Sri Lankan food. “But it’s just rice and curry!” they said. And it is true largely…Sri Lankans were famous for having an impossibly large menu but conveniently being out of everything EXCEPT rice and curry. Ask someone what their special is and you will undoubtedly get the same answer. But I would never put the word ‘just’ in front of Sri Lankan rice and curry.
Between the curry and the coconut I was cross eyed in love with the food.
Guest houses are the main source of food…aside from street food, restaurants don’t really exist. This means two things…1. all of your food is essentially homemade and 2. you have to order hours in advance. Nothing is done quickly in Sri Lanka and more often then not this extends to the cooking as well. Up to 20 different spices are roasted, tempered, ground, combined and simmered for hours to create wonderfully rich and subtle flavors. You could be served up to 6 small individual vegetable curries with coconut and cinnamon scented rice, crunchy papadams and eggplant carmalized with pineapple juice…. Delish!
I was just highly successful in making myself extremely hungry at 10:00pm. I suppose left over birthday cake will have to fill the curry void tonight.