July 06, 2007

The Baker's Passport - Sri Lanka Sri Lanka, once known as Ceylon, just off the southeast coast of India, is a rich tapestry of cultures which can be experienced today through it's rich and diverse food. Julia Child was station here during her time with the OSS. Sri Lanka's nearness to India has had a strong influence on its cuisine, as did the occupations of the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. Writer Amanda Hesser, in the IHT poetically described its proximity as "...shaped like a fat tear rolling off the chin of India." As time lapsed the majority of defining dishes have been slightly modified. And it took a lot of cooking from many peoples, cultures and religions: the Hindus and Buddhists perfected the vegetarian dishes; the Christians refined the beef and pork recipes and the Muslims put attention to the mutton and lamb dishes. Many of the recipes revolve around rice, the central grain of curry dishes in Sri Lankan cuisine. Notably curries in this country are spicier than those found in India. Other staple ingredients include coconut (milk, oil, or grated), as well as aromatic herbs and spices such as curry leaf, fenugreek, turmeric, chilies, and cinnamon. But what about dessert you say? Given the climate fruits are a plenty--mangoes, pineapple, papaya, woodapple, bananas, rambuttan, and mangosteen. For us bakers there's kiri pani made from buffalo milk curd and golden syrup; the of Malay origin, wattalappam an egg pudding with jaggary and also kevum made with flour and golden syrup. Spice traders, specifically the Dutch...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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