Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Not an Egg McMuffin In Sight
Breakfast is usually western in style...coffee, toast, maybe a yogurt or fruit, or a bagel, an egg, nothing extraordinary by normal standards. What is interesting about traveling in the eastern part of the world is how different a "typical" breakfast can be...anything from rice porridge to sushi or fried fish. Our 'typical' breakfast might be considered exotic to the eastern eye. A breakfast buffet in southeast Asia, outside the typical western style hotel which caters to the western taste, would be quite different. No stacks of pancakes, scrambled eggs, French toast, or muffins. Instead you might find an assortment of things you might not recognize as breakfast foods, and maybe a little shocking, as in ... "You eat what for breakfast?"
However, if you look closely, sometimes you find things that resemble the familiar. I find the little rotis, fried flour cakes, somewhat like small pancakes, but not something that I would cover with maple syrup and typically served with dipping sauces of curry or a cucumber chutney. Cereal, as in the boxed Fruit Loops kind, would be looked at rather strangely. An outside street vendor breakfast buffet might consist of an array of different meats, fish, veggies, and a mix of sauces, some spicy and ones with a heat that wake you up a lot faster in the morning than a jolt of caffeine. Dates are fairly popular as a breakfast fruit and coffee in all forms is standard, typically very sugary and pretty much a staple, along with tea, sometimes a spicy chai, depending on location. An interesting array for the adventurous, especially when perched eating at an outside table amongst all the chaos.... but alas, no toast or jelly jam, and not an egg mcmuffin in sight.