Sunday, July 22, 2007

Latin American Festival

There was a Latin American festival in one of our local parks today. I was expecting a half-hearted affair, similar to the recent Irish Fair, but it was surprisingly well organised with lots to see.

There was a main stage set up with live music but individual countries also had their own tents for cultural performances. The food was also good, not just your usual burgers-from-a-van. To sum up the South American food available in one word, I would say - MEAT. And lots of it.

Before we explored the food stalls, we watched some of the cultural performances.

This interesting fellow was in the Bolivia tent. He came out with four women wearing colourful costumes who danced around the stage.

There was an MC but all the commentary was in Spanish, so it was all wasted on me and Mr K-E.

Here you can see the women dancers too. They were wearing cool costumes with short ruffled skirts and cute boots.

It does look interesting though, I wonder what the cultural background is.

This was at the Chile tent. Looks almost Hawaiian, doesn't it? That woman sure knew how to wiggle her hips. Her partner wasn't bad either!

Anyway, after a demonstration, there was a "workshop" and people from the audience were invited to come up and learn how to do the traditional dance.

Mr K-E took lots of photos of this performance for some reason :)

Here's some of the food that was available.

The stalls were set up like the gerai in Brunei, with the cooking going on behind the stall-holders.

From left to right, fried chicken (just seen), barbequed beef, fried belly pork and a kind of South American croquette.

I felt a real pang of homesickness *sniff sniff* when I walked around the stalls. Mr K-E said it smelt like the Brunei food stalls; it was the smell of kerosene, frying oil and barbeque-ing meat.

More food - I didn't like the look of those sausages though. They look kind of gross.

Here's another thing that really reminded me of home.

There were iced drinks for sale made from shaved ice and syrup.

The stall holders had hand operated ice-shavers like we have back home.

Vegetarians and other sensitive souls, please look away .....

Yep, these guys love their meat!

This is the plate that Mr K-E and I shared.

Barbequed beef (partially covered), barbequed plaintain, rice, salad (grated carrot and lettuce) and a "Croquette" (I don't know what the name is but it was mashed potato and spicy meat, covered in polenta and deepfried)

It was delicious. This has made me really interested in South American food, I've already had a quick search for some recipes to try.

After that we went in search of sweets.

We found these picarones, which were yummy. They are pumpkin fritters with syrup.

I found out later that they are from Peru.

We also had some churros and chocolate. Sweet strips of fried dough sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, then covered with dark chocolate sauce.


::Alejandro:: said...

Nice post, that first picture where you wonder where they are from is the traditional dancers of Bolivia, and the Chileans who look Hawaiian are from Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, where the people are Polynesian, but the islands belong to Chile. Hope that helps!

BTW, those picaroes look good!

Katie-Ella said...

Thanks Alejandro! I wondered about the polynesian dancers.