This weekend the Multicultural Food Festival was held here in Canberra. It's an annual event and a highlight of the year for me. There were around 100 stalls (I think) hailing from all parts of the world - from Cuba to Papua New Guinea to Belgium. As usual I ate myself to a standstill and then rolled home.
The only downside was that I forgot to take my camera with me. I kicked myself repeatedly. But I brought home heaps of treats to scoff later and I have managed to capture those (see below).
I have two hard and fast rules for this festival. No indian, sri lankan, thai or chinese. No doubt the food would be delicious, but I can pretty much eat curry puffs or satay sticks any night of the week from any of a dozen different restaurants in my neighbourhood alone. I prefer to focus on cuisines where I have few other opportunities to sample them.
The other rule is snack food only. I am always hugely tempted by the vast array of sausages that are on offer. German, Polish, Hungarian, Macedonian, South African to name just a few. But they are filling and I can only eat so much. I like to maximise the variety of foods I can sample.
So anyway, this is what I ate this year.
Savoury DishesMeat momo
. Very good. In 2002, I spent three weeks in Tibet living on yak momos. I really enjoyed them. The gradual variation in momos was interesting - at least to me anyway. They graduated from a very bready dough wrapper in Tibet to very much a noodle wrapper as you moved further into China.Za'atar bread
from Saudi Arabia
. Okay. A thin dough spread with a za'tar mix and then rolled up swiss roll fashion and sliced. I found it a bit dry to be honest.Kaakro (banana and polenta puff)
. Pleasant and Interesting. A deep fried ball of grainy polenta with a lovely banana flavour.Mandu (pork fried pork and vegetable dumpling)
. Excellent. Very small half moon shaped noodle parcels filled with pork and vegetables, pan fried to a lovely crispy bown on the bottom. Kind of like a potsticker I guess. It was delicious.Mashed potato kebab
. Good. A round deep fried ball of potato heavily spiced with coriander, fennel seeds and chile. So not what I would normally term as a kebab. It was a bit too spicy for my tastes. I am a whimp in this direction.Empanada
. Delicious. A crispy pastry filled with tasty meat with gravy, boiled eggs and olives.Cabbage and Egg Piroshki
. Okay. A flaky pastry filled with cabbage and egg. I think I was just far too full by this stage to really enjoy it.
Sweet DishesPasteis de Nata (custard tart)
. Good. Crispy pastry filled with custard and topped with caramel. A bit too sweet for my tastes.Churros con chocolate
. Good. Deep fried pastry piped into circles that are dunked in a chocolate sauce. I would have preferred more chocolate, there wasn't quite enough.
DrinksYoung coconut juice
from Bangladesh. Excellent. One of may all time favourite drinks. So sweet and refreshing and yum.Otai
. Delicious. A watermelon, pineapple and coconut fruit punch. This is always a highlight. It is absolutely delicious and I love it.Lemonade
. Excellent. I would love to know how it is made. It was more of a bitter lemon flavour rather than the overly sweet variety of lemonade that you usually get.
Take Home TreatsSoft Torrone
Rich and chewy and studded with
from South Africa
. Yum. It's a strange thing to like, but I really do. I have gloriously happy memories of gnawing on biltong throughout a road trip around southern africa a few years back. Potica (Walnut Cake)
. Good, but it just couldn't live up to the plum cake I'm afraid.Milk Tart
from South Africa
. Very good.
Strangely enough, I never actually ate this
while I was in South Africa. But I love custard
tarts and this is an excellent version.
. Scrumptious. A real homemade treat. Rich and buttery with lovely juicy plums. And they didn't stint on portions either. The stall was run by some lovely old ladies. I am totally jealous of their grandchildren. I wish I had the recipe.
. Good. Lovely and crisp.
. Divine. I love Turkish Delight. This was lovely and chewy with little slivers of pistachio.