And this one was good. Our housekeeper made a chicken dish, it’s a recipe from a local ethnic minority. You wrap chicken and other goodies up in banana leaves and then bake it. She said that she cut down a lot of the hot peppers for us. Bangladeshi food is HOT.
Now I have a problem. We forgot to ask her what the name of the dish is. I’m not sure how we’re going to describe this when we want her to make it again. We’ll probably have to show her these photos.
The best coffee roasters in Bangladesh (the one that I found last year) holds training classes for aspiring baristas. They also have classes for helpless amateurs like me who want to pose as someone who knows what they’re doing. When the CLO (Community Liaison Office) at post organized a class, I jumped at the chance to demonstrate my clueless but enthusiastic ineptitude.
We learned about different kinds of beans and roasts, and how to make espresso, cappuccino and lattes. My sad attempt at a latte gave me more respect for real baristas who actually know what they’re doing.
We had more luck with the pour-overs.
We learned a lot about coffee and had fun sampling our new skills.
Bangladesh is trying to increase its coffee production. This coffee roastery is working with local farmers to try to enhance and improve the quality of the crop. They say that in a few years Bangladesh will start exporting coffee. We got to try some local coffee beans. It’s quite good. The hope is that this new crop will raise the standard of living of the local farmers.
Yesterday was the birthday of one of the locally-engaged staff in the section. We had a small celebration. “Happy Birthday” was sung in English, not Bangla, to my disappointment, but the birthday treats were very nice.
Of course, we had a cake:
But we also had some savory local snacks. One is like a samosa, and the other was a meat-filled pastry. Very yummy.
The treats came from a friend of the Embassy staff, a housewife started selling her homemade snacks, and it grew into a business (“Shumi’s Hot Cake”) with several branches around the city.
A house hold name in Celebration Cakes
I told the LES that I was interested in trying the local foods. They took me at my word, encouraging me to try the treats, and explaining what was in them. I’ve said it before, interacting with LES might be the best part of this job. They are very sweet and welcoming.
One of them also told me that Dhaka is known as a “ten pound post.” Standing on the bathroom scale this morning, I realized that she was right. The food is really good in Bangladesh, so I will have to hit the gym a LOT if I want to maintain my waistline here…