In order to sustain the relentless pace that I have to endure daily, food is vital. With every journey and every country one has to adapt to what is available and eat local, its fresh and the easiest to obtain. It does not help to try and eat what you are used to. You have to adapt.
Malagasy food is quite different. It’s simple tasty food and the locals eat rice 3 times a day and lots of it. These are 4 basic types of food served with this. The watery stew, with a small piece of meat in it, which can be chicken, beef or pork this is served with a large bowl of rice. You are then also always served a jug of hot water that the rice has been cooked in to drink as a type of tea with your meal; it has a smokey taste to it and quite nice once you are used to it. If you end up in a really remote village the soup will not have meat in it, but boiled greens (leaves), mainly Manioc (a type of root vegetable). Then there is the meat and sauce. This is also a type of stew, basically what we would call a stew at home, but a little spicy with a hint of veg or beans with it. The third is the grilled meat done on little stoves powered by charcoal this is found in every town all over the country, really tasty, but has the risk of being off, depending how long it’s been in the sun.
The biggest problem with the food is little stones that you find in it, but mainly in the rural areas. The reason for this is that rice is dried on the roads and there are always stones that fall into it. I have already broken a tooth biting into one.
I have found that the best place to eat in a village is always at the taxi stations because you know that the little eateries are always busy and you have the best chance of fresh food…
The last type is the street fried food, samoosas, lamb or spring rolls, doughnuts, deep fried veg in batter, beans in batter, fish and many other things as snack food. This is served with compose, which is a selection of fresh salads. Normally good and fresh, but it has the “Hit and Run” element to it, if you hit a bad one, simple, you will get the run.