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National cuisine of Myanmar-Burma for gourmets. Authentic recipes, delicacies and specialties

Rice is the main ingredient in the national cuisine of Myanmar. It is used to produce flour, noodles, and pastries. Rice is a popular garnish and stuffing. Myanmar chefs claim that there are several hundred ways to cook rice. It is an essential part of first- and second-course dishes, dishes with meat and seafood. Fresh vegetables and fruit make the taste original and complete. Tourists will surely find themselves curious about local food and willing to taste as much as they can, but trying everything at once is a bad idea. Myanmar is a country where Buddhism is the main religion, but Judaism and Islam are also widespread. This means that beef and pork are not common here. Poultry, mutton, and soy are the most popular replacements.
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In order to try authentic food, consider visiting dining establishments that have many local people inside. Don’t be surprised if there is no menu and people make their choice by pointing to pictures of food or to other people who are already eating. Tourists can use English to talk to locals. It would be a mistake to tell that locals know English well, but most of them can understand some simple phrases. If your interlocutor doesn’t understand what you are saying, gestures can be helpful. If a café or a restaurant offers free tea, it is better to refuse because the drink often contains unboiled water that can be not safe. Do not be surprised if there is no fork or spoon. Local people traditionally eat with their hands. Noodles are an exception – they are eaten with chopsticks. Only restaurants targeted at tourists offer utensils – vacationers can head straight to them if ordinary local restaurants confuse them.
Asian cuisines are famous for their generous use of spices, and Myanmar is no exception. However, local chefs cook less spicy food than in India and Thailand. Nevertheless, it may be better to ask about the blend of spices before trying a new dish because some ingredients may be inappropriate for you. We are not talking about a pepper mix. For example, local traditional dessert – marinated tea leaves – contains not only tea leaves but also garlic, onion, sesame seeds, peanuts, and roasted locusts. Don’t worry if local cuisine looks too exotic because there are many restaurants with different cuisines of the world – Indian, Chinese, and European. The latter is less widespread. There are many dishes in Asia with ingredients that look odd for Europeans, such as roasted crickets, spiders, wood larvae, snake meat, and so on. This is one of the local traditions. Copyright
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There are two facts that prove some national culinary preferences. The first one is about tea. Myanmar tea is famous for its high quality and amazing taste. However, tea drinking is a ceremony in this country, so it is better to check what tea you are ordering because it may taste unusually spicy. The thing is, locals brew tea in a dozen ways, and some traditional methods include the use of hot spices. The second one is about sauces. The sauce made from pressed fish is a local delicacy. Fish is put under pressure and kept like this for several days in a hot environment (usually under the sun). When the fish gets a bad smell, it is roasted with pepper. This sauce is a popular addition to meat and fish dishes. Because of a strong odor, many Europeans cannot even stay near this sauce for a long time.
Fruits are one of the best desserts for foreign guests, and Mangosteen is one of them. Mangosteen doesn’t look similar to any other fruit. As big as a mid-sized apple, this exotic fruit has a thick violet skin and white flesh, which shape is reminiscent of a garlic bulb. Mangosteen has a sweet taste with a slight sourness. Besides Mangosteen, Durian and Jackfruit are also popular in Myanmar. These fruits also grow only in certain parts of the worlds. By the way, almost all tourists like Mangosteen, contrary to Durian, which incredibly strong odor prevents many tourists from even approaching it.
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The most popular local soups are the following: Kyay oh (noodles with pork and greens) and Meeshay or Shan khauk swè (noodles with chicken). These soups are available in two types – with hot spices and without them. Perhaps, Mohinga (fish broth with rice noodles, garlic, onion, ginger, and lemongrass) is the most popular dish in this country. Delicious fresh fruits and vegetables make Myanmar a true paradise for all vegetarians. Moreover, local food is not expensive.
Here are some dishes without meat and fish: Gyin thoke (ginger salad with beans and sesame seeds), Theezohn Chinyay Hin (a local version of Indian Sambar containing vegetable broth, eggplants, lady’s finger, potato, onions, dried chili, and boiled egg), Yay mont (translucent sheets made of rice flour stuffed with beans and coriander), Samosa Dote (samosas and falafels mixed in a bean soup), and spicy Shan noodles. Tourists can find these dishes in the vast majority of local cafes and restaurants. As a rule, Indian restaurants offer the biggest variety of vegetable dishes. By the way, vegetarian tourists will be more pleased with local cuisine than meat-eaters because there are not many true specialists in meat dishes in Myanmar due to religious restrictions.
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Tea is the most popular drink here. Locals often add milk and spices to the tea. Coffee is not so popular. Cane juice with lemon and ice cubes is also widespread here. Fans of fruit juices will feel blessed – they can choose from so many varieties and see how the juice is made right in front of them. When it comes to alcohol, palm tree liqueur is very popular in the country. Many shops sell Myanmar rum and whiskey. Tiger, Singha, and Bintang are the most popular varieties of local beer.
Myanmar-Burma guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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