The time of the year is here to spread cheer and good will. This is also the time to enjoy good food to suit your palate. All of us usually have our traditional food for Christmas; suddenly it struck me to write a post about the exotic cuisines used in other cultures. So here we go…..
Black caviar is Azerbaijan’s best known delicacies. The term caviar usually refers to the eggs or egg-laden ovary of the wild sturgeon from the Caspian and Black seas. They are usually salt cured and obtained fresh or pasteurized. But the fresh ones have more value. It is a delicacy and used as a garnish or spread. It is a luxury because black cavier was sold for $2500 per pound this year.
Takoyaki is a popular snack in Japan and was invented by a street vendor in 1935. Let me tell you more about it. It is shaped like a ball and is made of wheat flour based batter. Inside it is filled with minced octopus, scraped tempura- a kind of sea weed which is dipped into batter and deep fried. Pickled ginger and green onions are also stuffed inside the takoyaki dumplings. Then it is brushed with takoyaki sauce similar to your mayonnaise. Finally it is garnished with green laver an edible sea weed and shavings of dried bonito which is a fish.
Black ivory coffee is such an interesting coffee and is one of the worlds priciest. Why should a cup of coffee be so expensive? You might wonder! The answer lies in its distinctive preparatory methods. This coffee is from Northern Thailand where the Arabica coffee beans are consumed by the elephants. It is later taken out from its feces and cleaned. The taste is influenced by the acids in the elephant’s stomach. They have the right enzymes to break down the proteins of the coffee cherry and reduce its bitter flavor. The resulting is a coffee with a distinctive flavor having a floral aroma, earthy and a fruity flavor.
The Balep is Tibetan simple flat bread and is eaten for breakfast and lunch. Balep is made of barley flour, water and baking powder. Another interesting Tibetan food is thukpa which is eaten for dinner. It is prepared by using noodles of various shapes, veggies and pieces of yak meat in broth. It is usually served in soup bowls with bamboo chopsticks. The rich Tibetans use silver and gold bowls.
I hope you would taste these delicacies some day or the other. But you know what I am going to do now? Just serve myself a big piece of black forest cake and some hot steaming cup of coffee, sit near the Christmas tree with some soft Christmas music and relish my piece of cake. Perhaps this is what they call it home?
Photo of black ivory coffee courtesy of Google images