I was part of a culinary group tour in Saigon. Travelling by scooter at dusk, followed by cheerful horns and engulfed in an organized chaos. We stopped at a bustling street cafe and sampled food from the sea. A beautiful plate abruptly hit the table. Gorgeous fried mussel tossed with herbs and served in the largest mussel shells I had ever seen. A person from the group refused to eat, claiming the ‘sea insect’ was untrustworthy.
What puzzles me is how others can pass judgement without having ever tasted it.
And that’s when I realized.
How enlightening the taste of another culture can be.
How lucky I was to grow up in the the raw and honest surrounding beauty of Aotearoa.
How food can be nourishing, tantalizing and nostalgic all at the same time.
I guess anything can be a fritter and it really is an effortless meal to whip up – but that’s exactly what I love about them. They remind me of home and remind me to appreciate the simple things in life.