Museum Blog

Malagasy Food

Posted 7/29/2015 12:07 AM by Joseph Sertich | Comments

Written by Hank Woolley.

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Our incredible camp chef, Nary, making a beautiful egg omelet and soupy rice for the team in Analavelona.


If you’re the type of person who loves consistency, then you’ll absolutely love Malagasy cuisine. Throughout my two months here in Madagascar, I’ve learned to love two things: beans and rice. These two food items are a staple in pretty much every Malagasy dish all over the island, and it’s entirely normal to have some type of beans with some consistency of rice for all three meals a day. The word for beans in Malagasy is “tsaramasho”, which literally translates to “good eyes”… I guess it’s a reference to the more rounded types of beans we’ve had the privilege of devouring over the past two months, but nevertheless it’s a much better name than simple “beans”.

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Our local friends slicing up some fresh Omby (beef) for dinner- MAN it was good!


Though beans and rice are the staples for a typical meal out here, we’ve also had some amazing toppings to go with them. We’ve had beef, pork, chicken, duck (my personal favorite), all kinds of vegetables and legumes, fruit salads, and even pasta to heap on top of our already ginormous mounds of beans and rice. Our Malagasy team members heap even more incredible piles of food onto their plates- hence the term “Malagasy portion”. Considering the average height of a Malagasy person is probably around 5’2”, it’s truly amazing that a person of that stature can easily put away two to three pounds of food in a serving for every meal.

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Some local chickens, plucked and ready for cooking.

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Our guide Lomba (at right) and two of his pals with giant stalks of incredibly delicious sugar cane.


Between the portion size, the beans and rice, and the toppings, it all adds up to a truly amazing cultural experience that’s unlike anything I’ve seen before. More posts to come!

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