Friday, August 10

Heritage Days (Day 2)

After a disappointing first day of food I returned with ShanWow to try again.  I'm glad that I did.

Finland - pirakka - Hoping for something sweet and ending up with something savoury.  A very Finnish treat with rye bread in a thin, soft crust with rice paste in the centre and egg mush spread on top.  Sounds not so great but I'd eat it again.

Serbia - baklava - The serbians definitely know how to create a flaky honey pastry.  Baklava wasn't anything new but a rare treat.

Eritrea - alicha - basically Ethiopian food and therefore the way to my heart.  This was a stew of potatoes, carrots and cabbage on a nice, grey, tangy injera bread.  Some of the best things in life are vegetarian.

Ghana - plantain - roasted in 7 (seven!) Ghanaian spices these were easily the BEST PLANTAINS I HAVE EVER HAD.  A little burnt.  Kinda sticky.  Sweet.  Lots of flavour.  Ghanaians know how to take a lame banana wannabe and turn it into something great.  Plus, they have moves.

A few tents stood out in the marketplace of kitsch.

Scandinavia - I was a bit disappointed that Finland teamed up with Norway, Denmark and Sweden instead of holding its own.  This was made up for by the actual learning taking place in the tent.  They had two exhibits, living dioramas, of life in Scandinavia 1000 years ago.  A woman in (mostly) traditional clothing demonstrating how to make sinew and cook with heated stones.  A man with a plethora of tools actively carving a canoe.

Peru - best original menu. One of the few countries that put in the extra effort to offer things that no one else was offering and that was distinctly Peruvian.  Yes, empanadas are great but does every Latin American country need to feature them?  Peru had their, albeit revolting, mazamorra morada or purple cord pudding (and the juice, too!).  They had their papa rellena and choclo (corn on the cob sort of Peruvian style).  Good effort, Peru!

Israel - good effort at realism.  Festival goers could walk through fake stone tunnels to learn more about Israel with a very realistic heat index 10 degree above the sweltering Hawreluk park.  Minus points for giving out free fortune cookies with only a tourism website inside and no fortune at all.

Zimbabwe - thank you for showing up.  This was another country offering something different from other booths however it scores as one of the most disappointing because their food wasn't ready for lunch so I never did get to try any.

Surprisingly missing:  Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Spain (I see a trend).  If little dudes like Bosnia, Borneo and Sudan can do it, so can you!

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