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Yangon is a great place to start your crash course in all dishes Burmese. The largest and most ethnically diverse city in Myanmar with a population of nearly 6 million, Yangon brings together the flavours and culinary influences from all over the country. In a not-so-distant past, consumers sat down to three regular meals a day and snacked only in between meals: Eating was a pretty traditional, predictable behavior.
Welcome to Thailand, where snacking is not only a way to satisfy your craving, but it’s a leisure way of life. Throw away your artificial bag of chips and preserved cookies, because fresh bugs are widely available and waiting to be your next snack! Sometimes edible insects are cooked within certain Thai dishes, but most of the time they are deep fried until reaching a complete state of crispiness, heavily salted, and eaten as a protein enriched snack.
Of all the Asian cuisines that have spread over the globe, Burmese food hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. There’s a more than understandable explanation for this, given that the country was isolated for almost 50 years due to a repressive military dictatorship. According to filmmaker Robert Liebermanhe who filmed a documentary in Myanmar in 2012, the country endured gross human rights violations that the world is still discovering. With Obama’s visit to Yangon in 2012 and tourism opening up across the country, the world is watching Myanmar. One thing they’ll surely be watching with increasing attention is the food.
Burmese cuisine is an exotic blend of flavourful ingredients that make up unique dishes that are an absolute must-try. It offers a plethora of authentic dishes from various regions of Myanmar.
It’s also safe to call it a delicious mash-up of the spicy rich curries of India, the garlicky sweet sauces of China, and the bright herb-filled salads and soups of Thailand. There’s nothing quite like it, and Yangon is a city built for snacking. The best street food in Yangon can be found at temporary carts set up by vendors each morning, and the stews and snacks sold throughout the day represent a wide cross-section of different cultures and ethnicities.