Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Burma Part 3: Beverages

Burma is a tropical country.

Most of the country stays at around 90 degrees or hotter year round. There are palm trees all over and it's really humid...all the time (which is great for the wildlife and fruit growing).

In this kind of weather and atmosphere, you know that there have to be some beverages that are used to refresh and cool down during the hot days, which are most of them.

First of all, the Burmese drink a lot of tea. Did you know that Burma is greatly influenced by British traditions, tea being one of them?

We had tea several times a day and whenever we would visit someone's home, they would almost always offer us a cup of delicious green tea. I love the clean taste of green tea, so I thoroughly enjoyed this tradition.

Here's a pic of a traditional roadside tea shop. You can find these everywhere and it's a great place to stop, have a cup of sweetened black tea or soda and chat.

Here we were treating the community football (soccer) team that Firefall International sponsors so these boys can have the privilege of learning soccer and playing on a real field with cleats and uniforms. Getting to drink a soda was also a huge treat for them.

Speaking of tea, my mom and I had the chance to get away from the busy city to have a quiet and refined high tea at the historic Strand Hotel in Yangon (built in 1896). Fun factoid: George Orwell and Rudyard Kipling are some of the past guests of this hotel.

It was such a beautiful building, a Victorian gem of architecture in the midst of a very industrial, third-world city.

We enjoyed the tea and tasty savory and sweet bites there...and the air conditioning.

On our last day in Burma, we got to snoop around at the Governor's Residence, another gorgeous piece of architecture and history with one of the coolest pools I've ever seen! Fancy fancy and pricey pricey.

While sitting on the patio there, I enjoyed a watermellow: watermelon, ginger and mint frappe. Refreshment to the max!

We had so many delicious fruit juices on the trip. And they actually grow the fruits that they juice which makes their drinks even fresher and sweeter! Ahh! Oh and the lime soda is an amazing thing (pictured on right)!

And finally, I tried one of the most unique beverages that I've ever had at a restaurant in Burma.

It's called faluda, and I think it has Indian roots. It's like "a party in a glass" (as my mom called it), a mix of egg custard bits, exotic fruit jellies and milk. And it's SO good. Like a milkshake that could maybe count as healthy.

Thanks for going to Burma with me through these three posts! I hope you've enjoyed learning a bit more about food, drink and the people of Burma through my photos and stories. If you ever get a chance to go, please GO!

(Here's one of our friends holding a very old and very cool bamboo cup that he drank his tea from.)

Click on these links to read my other posts on Burma:
Burma Part 1: The Market
Burma Part 2: Hospitality

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