I believe that from my writing it has become clear that 'Burmese' cuisine does not mean 'Bamar' cuisine and that about the latter nothing conclusive is known. And even if the Bamar have contributed (which I believe they have) with a few recipes to what is called 'Burmese' cuisine they have no part in all the other ethnic foods and dishes that already existed for a very long time (actually for many centuries) when they came into what is nowadays Burma (Myanmar).Since eating is integral part of life it does, subsequently, also take place on the floor with the food being placed on a very low usually round table while the diners are sitting on the floor. Burmese do usually eat with their fingers. Only soup is eaten with short Chinese spoons and in case of noodle soup the noodles are eaten with chopsticks. Bowls with water and lemon pieces to wash hands and fingers as well as small towels are provided on the table.
The answers to all the questions I will answer in this preface lie in the following. Not only but also with respect to the 'Burmese' cuisine it is a fatal (but, alas, quite often made) mistake to assume that Burmese and Bamar (Burman) is the same for it is definitely not. Burma is the country and the Bamar are one of the ethnic groups inhabiting Burma. Since the Bamar - also called Burman - constitute the largest ethnic group of this country the British named it after them Burma; and Burma's citizens are Burmese. But not every Burmese is a Bamar. Only members of the Bamar, which is one of Burma's ethnic groups, are Bamar. Subsequently, we have to differentiate between the country Burma, its citizens the Burmese and members of one of the ethnic groups of Burma, the Bamar. This means that there is a Burmese cuisine (the country's cuisine) and a Bamar cuisine (the ethnic group's cuisine) but these two cuisines are not the same. The problem with the original or traditional Bamar cuisine is that no one knows what dishes it comprises. The root problem with this is that no one knows where exactly the Bamar are coming from. If that would be known beyond any reasonable doubt we would also know what their cuisine is.
As said previously, there are dishes that go by the same name and are available and liked across the country. But again, they taste different depending on whether you eat them in Yangon, Mon State, Mandalay, Shan State or Rakhine State. A good example for this is the 'unofficial Burmese national breakfast dish' Mohinga. Mohinga, a hearty fish soup comprising mainly fish broth made of (preferably) catfish, fish and shrimp paste, banana palm stem or blossom, onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and chilly, thickened with chickpea flower and served with rice noodles, hard boiled eggs and lemon or lime wedges, is originated from Mon state and loved in the greater part of Burma but not very popular in the tribal areas along the border between Burma and Thailand. Other examples are coconut noodles (O Nu Kaukswe), pickled tea leaf salad (Lahpet) and vermicelli in fish or chicken broth (Mont Di).
Ampoule Monday , April 16th , 2018 - 20:48:58 PM
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