Monday Meal Review: Madagascar

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THE SCENE I click through my email, waiting for the smoke. The burning. Before long, I'm elbows deep in an email from a woman who just started reading our blog. She asks "Do you ever not like the food of a particular country? Do you ever get tired of cooking food from other places?" I sit back, thinking... not because I don't know the answer, but to mull over - to savor - the hundreds of dishes we've eaten over the last two years (I started this blog in February 2010). So many wonderful … [Read more...]

Recipe: Madagascar Chicken (Akoho sy Sakamalao)

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There are times when I need a little bit of sunshine. A smattering of happy. A bouquet of deliciousness. Today I found exactly what I was looking for in this Malagasy chicken. One of the most unusual things about the food of Madagascar is how much it pulls from different traditions. In today's chicken dish, we see traces of mainland Africa, Asia and Polynesia. The coconut oil gives the chicken just a hint of Polynesian tradition, while the garlic, and ginger play into Asian flavors. Finally, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Vanilla Bean n’ Tropical Fruit (w/ poll)

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Vanilla beans might as well be jewels. The insides are full of teeny, tiny black caviar - the likes of which I can't help but want all over my ice cream and baked goods... I even like to dab vanilla extract on my wrists when baking. Suffice it to say, I'm a fan. Now, imagine yourself in a country like Madagascar, where there are enough vanilla beans to pave the streets. There, thanks to such quantity, the people use vanilla bean caviar much more whimsically than I can ($8 per bean, … [Read more...]

Recipe: “Burnt” Rice Tea (Ranovola) w/ poll

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I can't believe I'm going to do this, but here we are: I'm going to show you how to burn rice. It's for a perfectly good cause: a cool, refreshing glass of ranovola, or burnt rice tea. This toasty-tasting drink is popular in Madagascar, where the bottom of the rice pot is reserved to flavor the local river water. It's super easy to do, as long as you don't burn the rice too fast. You have to do it just right. Ahem. Start with a cup of cooked rice spread on the bottom of a … [Read more...]

Menu: Madagascar

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Today I sit at the dining table, the door open and a breeze coming it. Its 70 degrees. I shut my eyes and imagine I'm sitting on a beach in Madagascar - overlooking the wide, blue ocean. The last weeks have been busy. I did four interviews in half as many days, including one with Parenting Magazine.  I spoke on KRMG all about the Chinese New Year. Today and tomorrow I will be speaking at Rosa Parks Elementary School about bringing the world together around a Global Table. On Friday I'll be … [Read more...]

About the food of Madagascar

A lake at Sambava, Madagascar. Photo by WRI Staff.

Watching Andrew Zimmern's Bizzare Foods episode on Madagascar, I was amazed by some of the shocking foods he ate. On this island nation roughly the size of Texas, you can find everything on the dinner platter from bugs to - get ready for it - circumcision ceremony remnants. Ahem. I'm not going to clarify that one. (Remember, I'm here to bring us together over simple foods, not shocking foods, so we won't be going down any of those roads. I will say, however, if you get a chance and are … [Read more...]