Tag Archives: markets

Calamansi Butter

22 Apr

Cut and uncut calamansi fruit on chopping board

Good things come in small packages

So these little fellas are calamansi, Filipino style, tiny, spherical citrus fruit which experts believe originated as a cross between a mandarin and a lime. They are, along with ube (purple yam), probably one of the defining flavours of the Philippines.

What makes the Filipino calamansi (or kalamansi) so fantastic is the absence of bitterness. They have a tang even more sour than a lime, but without the bitterness, so the hit is like essence of citrus. You can mix them with soy and chilli for a dipping sauce, or sprinkle them on just about anything to cut sweetness, salt or fat.

But today, after a trip to the market in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, we ripped off a recipe from Theo at the Tabon Village Resort down south, and used them for the ultimate “lemon”-butter sauce.

I went a little stir-crazy at the market, in fact. Continue reading

Pressed Flowers

25 Mar

Paper lantern made with pressed flowers and leaves, Night Market, Luang Prabang, Laos

We saw some of these being made!

It’s pretty rare for me to get excited about crafts, though Z and I loved watching weaving in action the other day. Oh, yeah, and normally I hate tourist markets with a passion.

But the paper workers around Luang Prabang, Laos, produce some of the most beautiful objects we have seen on our travels. Like this lantern made with pressed flowers and leaves, which we saw at the night market. Continue reading

Lotus Seeds

2 Feb

Lotus Flowerheads for Sale by the Roadside, Cambodia

Lotus Flowerheads for Sale by the Roadside, Cambodia

When someone you have never met in a country you have never visited gives your child and you a present and wants nothing in return but friendship, that’s special.

When that someone is a market stallholder in a border town poor enough to be fanning the flies off their few remaining pieces of pig bits with a plastic bag on a bamboo stick, that’s really special.

That the present was fresh lotus seeds, straight from the flowerhead, put this into stellar territory for me. Continue reading

Welcome to Cambodia!

29 Jan

There is something particularly unwelcoming about the phrase, “You give money now.”

Particularly when spoken in a Khmer accent. The language isn’t tonal, so you lose all the mellifluous softening you’d get in Thai, there’s a different set of vowels and consonants, a lot of plosives, and, what with the khaki and the nurses waving thermometers at you to check for swine flu, it all gets a bit Bridge Over the River Kwai. Continue reading