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Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:28 pmForum Host
How a Dinner is Served in Madagascar
The true Malagache serves his meal, as is done in most parts of Africa, on a mat on the floor. Everything is put down at the same time--but in the cities individual plates are used and the utensil is a large spoon (no knives or forks are used).
Dinner is a simple affair. There are no preliminaries such as snacks, hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, or drinks. Guests are brought to the dining area and served directly. Today, you will find the Western influence appearing more strongly, and dining areas are being increasingly adopted.
Malagaches like their food simply prepared, flavorful, but as we have said, not highly spiced. Fruits and vegetables are utilized at their freshest, and it is not uncommon to start a meal with vegetable soup and then to serve two or three vegetables with the entree. The beverage that goes with the meal is Ranonapango, a drink made by burning rice--yes, actually burning the rice and adding water to it. (The recipe is given on page 93.)
The entree might very well be a chicken or fish curry, and it is usually one of the three rice meals each day. In Malagasy curries are prepared a little differently than in other countries. A Malagache curry is included in the recipe section.
The dessert is usually fruit, flavored with vanilla. Some call Madagascar the Vanilla Island as they call Zanzibar the Spice Island. The fruit is not only prepared with vanilla, but more vanilla is added to it when it is served.
Malagasy tea, their own special brand (not available here), completes a most nutritious meal.
How You Can Present a Malagasy Dinner
It might be more authentic to serve this menu on mats placed on the floor, but in the cities of Malagasy dinner would be served at a table. For the Malagasy meal, use bright yellow tablecloths and matching napkins--on a round table, if possible, to express the feeling of friendliness.
Place the napkin on a white service plate and top each napkin with a large bright flower. An iris or any flower that resembles the orchid family would be ideal but a large daisy or other flower will also serve.
The centerpiece is a bowl of fresh fruit interspersed with some of the same flowers that adorn each plate. Dishes are plain white or solid colors.
Start with the Lasopy, the veal vegetable puree, thick and hearty and served in earthenware bowls.
The Varenga, beautifully browned shredded beef, arrives in the oven- proof dish in which it was baked and is set on a trivet. A large bowl of Vary Amin Anana, steaming hot vegetables, and the Lasary Voatabia, tomato and scallion salad, are set on the table at the same time. It is not common practice to serve bread or rolls, but be sure that a large bowl of white rice is part of the dinner.
Ranonapango, the burned-rice drink would be correct to serve with the dinner, but you might want to substitute cold lemonade or ice water. Your guests will find the dessert delicious. If you cannot obtain the fruits suggested in the Salady Voankazo (fresh fruits with lichee nuts), use any fruits that are available. Sugar them lightly and sprinkle pure vanilla extract over the fruit.
Serve tea or coffee in the usual manner.
The Malagache dinner is one of the easiest to prepare and to serve. And it is utterly different!
Menu from Madagascar
Roasted Shredded Beef
Madagascar Vary Amin Anana
Rice and Greens
Madagascar Lasary Voatabia
Fresh Diced Scallions and Tomatoes
Madagascar Salady Voankazo
Vanilla-spiked Fresh Fruits with Lychee Nuts
Malagasy Cake (Madagascar)
Vanilla Red Tea
Courtesy of www.africaguide.com
ALL MADAGASCAR RECIPES (link) in the db.
Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:49 pmSemi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
Wow, Malagasy cuisine sounds amazing! I was invited here, I presume, because one of my public recipes is from Madagascar. It came out of a cookbook compiled my Mennonite missionaries, and to be honest I don't have much familiarity with the country beyond that. But this introduction has piqued my interest and I would love to try more dishes.
Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:26 pmForum Host
Valeria, the names of the dishes in the menu are clickable links.
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