Blog by MBP Volunteer, Olivia
Malagasy Street Food!!!
Greetings from the winner of the KAFS AACC (that’s the All American Cribbage Championship if you’re wondering).The two other volunteers from the U.S. and I completed our month long cribbage tournament a few weeks ago and I came out on top. Sweet, sweet victory! My prize was all the snacks and drinks I could possible consume at Sunday market, and I don’t know if I’ve eaten that much fried food outside of a county fair before. The street food in Madagascar is an adventure in its self and I wanted to take this post as an opportunity to ruminate on it.
First off, most street food is fried besides fruit and a few minor exceptions. Every shape that dough can be formed into can be found at a stand, on a platter or in a plastic tote. Starches in the form of wheat, rice, corn, cassava and even breadfruit abound. Mofo balls and manakely are the most common; they are two giant versions of donut holes. Cassava chips are bought five at a time, or you can get hunks of whole deep fried cassava root that settle like a brick in your gut. Battered and deep fried bananas may be my personal favorite, but I like to think I’d try anything once. Venturing away from the starches things get a little more exciting. Chicken feet, little crabs, crawfish and fried cicadas are all good protein choices. I had a piece of what may have been cooked cow’s lung or a slice of congealed and cooked blood – its hard to say which.
It’s a good idea to balance these fried and starchy foods with pineapple slices or a cup of super sweet yogurt, usually sold from a cooler on the back of a bike.. Fruit juices are also available and in bigger towns there are even ice cream vendors. The hardest thing about street food is deciding what to eat first and knowing when to stop!