Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eating off Banana Leafs

Gary LOVES Indian food and when I say LOVES I mean could eat it everyday for every meal, I'm pretty sure.  For weeks I would ask him what he wanted to eat and he would always say, "I could go for some Indian food."  Well, it's not that I don't like it, it's just I'm kind of scared of it sometimes because I have only been exposed to it a few times.  We did eat it the whole time we were in India the first time, but they knew what I liked and I think they kind of made it for more my taste (not spicy).  Gary likes it spicy so it makes me nervous to go somewhere that I can't read (or understand) the menu and order blindly, well at least that's what it feels like.  However, the other night I decided to give into his wishes and go eat Indian food.  We went to this place at the mall called Spice of India.  It was good and we really enjoyed it, but for some reason it still didn't quench his craving for Indian food.  He says it was because that food was more northern Indian and he likes southern Indian better...just between me and you I don't really know the difference.  So, on Saturday when Angela (from the PJ church) took us to lunch before Gary's workshop we had two options : Chinese or Indian.  Well, I said Chinese because we had just had Indian the night before, but Gary talked me into going Indian.  He just loves it!!  This quenched the craving, but also might have made it more intense because now that he has had it he wants more. 

Yes, we ate off banana leaves.
In India, people love to eat from banana leaves for a variety of reasons. First of all, the leaves are easily available and they can be used as disposable plates. These are often used at large functions such as weddings, birthdays and other celebrations. The used leaves are environmentally friendly, unlike plastic plates.

Secondly, the food tastes better on banana leaves as the leaves add more flavor to the food.

Thirdly, eating from a banana leaf is considered hygienic and healthy. It is customary to eat with one’s fingers, as knives and forks will damage the tender leaves. When placing the leaves on the table, the narrowest end faces the left and the widest end faces the right. Food is always placed on the widest part of the leaf. Rice is served in the middle and the vegetables are placed all around.  (This explanation was taken from this website).

Even though Indians would eat with their fingers, we haven't gotten that far and we still used silverware.  Although, there were people in the restaurant eating with their fingers.  I did do it a couple of times while in India, but my moto has been "while in India, do as the Indias."

Today, is Thaipusam (pronounced: Tie-poo-som).  It is a Hindu festival.  I'm not exactly sure what it represents and stands for, but hopefully, like I have said several times, Gary will be a guest on my blog and tell us all about it because he is seeing it all first hand, while I'm at work : ).  Most Hindu's are Indian so he has been talking about eating Indian food for a week-and-a-half, since he found out he was going.  I told the guy yesterday who is taking him how excited he is to eat Indian food and he replied, "Oh so you think I should take them to McDonalds tomorrow?"  HAHA!!! 

It has been really fun eating all of the different types of food!  That's what's great about having 3 different cultures that live in this country because we get to try so much food!

Eat something exotic today (McDonalds doesn't count),


Juliane McCorkle said...

We LOVE Indian food! But we've never had it on a banana leaf...that would be fun!!!

He Sings Over Me! said...

I love Indian food. I am always telling Yannick "lets go get indian food"! hahaha well I just love that you guys get to try so much different food. I love the banana leaves as plates. We should try that here!