Life in the Field: Teach Us Something About Your Local Food Scene

Caroline Dorr, KF25 in Indonesia

Rice is everywhere here in Bali, Indonesia! Rice (or “nasi” in Indonesian) is the staple food here and is eaten every day by almost all Indonesians. Not only is rice the staple food, but it is also a staple crop. Beautiful sprawling rice terraces make up much of the country’s landscape. The lush, green rice paddies turn to a golden yellow just before the rice is ready to be harvested. My favorite rice dishes here are steamed rice with various tasty sides (nasi campur) or fried rice with veggies (nasi goreng)!

Duen Krittika, KF25 in Myanmar

Tea leaf salad is a snack/food that you can find almost everywhere in Myanmar. It's mixed of Burmese pickled tea, bean, corns and other herbs or you can eat it with rice as food. The pickled tea is unique in Myanmar and is regarded as the national delicacy as well.

Vardah Malik, KF25 in Vietnam

Spring rolls are a staple food through out Vietnam and can easily be found at a street vendor. They might be served on their own with a dipping sauce, or with a side of rice or vermicelli noodles. Sea food can also be found most everywhere, especially if you are in a coastal town. This is home-made squid with shrimp in the background. You can combine the two and have seafood, such as shrimp, IN your spring roll. Fried goodness.

Sarah Renfer, KF25 in Paraguay

Paraguayan food is heavily meat and corn-based, and you'd be surprised of everything you can do with this. I had the chance to visit a women's group that prepares food to sell at the side of the road, like corn bread called "chipa", and a pig meat sausage called "butifarra" that includes a lot of herbs and spices like cumin. Hilda was preparing the butifarra just when I was visiting, and graciously offered me a "Hamburger Caacupé-Style" - it was delicious!

Vince Main, KF25 in Azerbaijan

These are Qutabs. A most delicious thin flat-bread stuffed with vegetables or lamb. They are one of the favorite foods of Azerbaijan. Here you can see the wonderful Sevda, the lady I am staying with, carefully preparing the Qutabs using a frying pan. She uses her own special ingredient..... pomegranate seeds. There is only one problem with Qutab ..... you can eat too many of them :-)

Shannon Kossik, KF25 in Ghana

From my personal Irish heritage to my current Ghanaian home, meat and potatoes it is!! Local fare here typically includes a meat or fish (i.e. beef, chicken, guineafowl, goat, red fish, tilapia or salmon), a starch (i.e. plantains, yam, cassava, cocoyam, maize or a combination thereof) and a soup (i.e. light soup, groundnut soup, palm nut soup, tomato soup or okra stew). One such dish is called "fufu" where the starch is prepared by pounding it into a dough-like substance before serving it. The dough is meant to be torn into pieces with your right hand and dipped into the stew before consumption with the meat or fish.
Enjoy your meal...or rather...your experience.


About the author

Margo Brookfield

Margo was born and raised a Midwestern girl from Kansas City. She recently graduated from the University of Oregon with a major in International Studies focusing in comparative development in Francophone Africa, and has studied both French and Spanish in college. Last year she studied social pluralism and development with the School for International Training in Cameroon, focusing her thesis research on the impacts of education on Muslim girls in the northern city of Ngaoundéré. Margo has been a big supporter of Kiva for a number of years and is very excited to finally put all of her studies in development into practice and work to affect positive change in the world. In her spare time you can find her hiking, baking, reading a good book, spending time with her family (including her six nieces and nephews), or planning her next big adventure!