My Burmese friends invited me over for dinner again. An authentic Burmese dinner. And as you can probably guess it was pure awesomeness on many levels. First off, I really enjoy their company. I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones that I do have are very close and dear to me. I feel privileged and honored to have come to know this family, being invited to their wedding and welcomed into their home for dinner. It's a very special thing to share traditional celebrations and food.
In a way, I feel like I occasionally take a cultural trip to Burma. And what's so unique about this is that not many people get to travel there (at least not yet ... here's hoping things are changing). Their brutal military dictatorship has wreaked havoc on the entire society the past several decades. Some of the stories they have told me are unbelievable. And for all of the bashing I do of our increasingly dysfunctional governmental system here in the US of A, I sure count my lucky starts knowing it could be much, much worse.
Thinking about the evening, it kind of reminds me of when those Travel Channel food show hosts jaunt around the world sampling local cuisine. When they're lucky enough to be invited into somebody's home for a traditional meal, they always rave that it was the best meal of their trip. And it's easy to see why.
Rice noodle salad - rice noodles, carrots, boiled/pureed tomatos and vinegar
Green papaya salad - grated green papaya flesh, Thai chilis, dried shrimp, garlic and lemon
Tom yum soup - lemongrass, shiitakes, shrimp, fish sauce, lime, and chilis
Beef and potato's - with garlic and ginger
Pork - with tomatos, garlic, ginger and onions
Chicken - cilantro, garlic, tomatos, onions and one other veggie I've never heard of.
As much as I love the Paleo/Primal lifestyle, the last thing on my mind that night was if the food was Paleo or not. Or what kind of oil was used. Or if there was soy or gluten or on and on. Nope, sometimes you just check your ego, and your eating habits, at the door.