Thursday, August 09, 2007

Malay Food and Agriculture

We gorged ourselves on seafood for five days straight! It was amazing. Every fish or shellfish we ate was brought to us for approval fresh from the tanks (or the sea) before being slapped on the barbecue.

Some of the more touristy restaurants were a little pricey. The road side restaurants (the ones that looked a little sketchy and the FDA would have a field day with) had the best food...and the cheapest. I ate a huge crab dinner with side dishes and fresh squeezed fruit juice for around $12 (RM 30). Malaysian currency is the ringgit (RM). Click here for the current exchange rate.

Malaysian fare hosted a wide array of tastes due to its numerous cultural influences. Some of the main dishes included daging and rendang. All of the dishes were spicy to varying degrees but all were delicious.

The continental breakfast at our hotel offered some tastes of the local cuisine as well as a full Western style breakfast for the unadventurous.

On one our day trips, we took a ride through the mangroves to the Hole in the Wall restaurant. It was floating on the ocean in a protected bay and estuary that also harbored dozens of world traveled sailboats. Our lunch was raised right their at the restaurant and we enjoyed the slow rocking of the ocean as we waited for our meal.
The main agriculture of the island was rice production and they had a lot of fishing as well. Some cows wandered around and some were tethered to leashes in the front yards. Chickens roamed free until dinner time when they were very likely slapped on a plate.
The farmland keeps the island from being to densely populated and provides a nice backdrop to the scenery and tourist attractions.

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