Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Malawi vs Moldova: Porridge

Porridge is a delicious, filling way to start the day. Just ask Goldilocks and the three bears. It is also a popular breakfast in both Malawi and Moldova. Which one do you think Goldilocks would choose?


In Chichewa we call this "phala". It is made by mixing maize flour with boiling water and adding a little salt. It is typically served with Malawian brown sugar, which Colii pointed out is not brown sugar at all, but just unrefined cane sugar. But it says brown sugar on the bag!

I make this most days except for the peak of hot season (which is just around the corner). I use the whole-grain maize flour known as "ngaiwa". My preferred toppings include sugar, dried fruit, and banana slices. Sometimes I make it with a little pumpkin pie spice. Mmmm!


In Romanian, hot cereal is "terci" (pronounced "tairch"). The type below is basically the same as Cream of Wheat, but i don't know what kind of grain it is here. Mama-G makes it for me at least once a week. I think she makes it with milk, butter, and sugar. Sometimes she busts out the homemade preserves that i'll add to it. And there's always honey. But, like i said, she already sweetens it, so i usually don't add more sweetness to it...i already get enough sugar in Moldova.

Next to the terci is my black cafea (coffee). Moldovans don't understand how anyone can drink cafea or ceai (tea) without at least sugar...spoonfuls and spoonfuls of sugar. Mama-G knows i don't put sugar in my cafea or ceai, but most Moldovans will add it automatically before serving it. 

And, apparently i've lead by example cuz Mama-G doesn't put sugar in her ceai anymore! And she makes sure to tell me that she didn't put sugar in it! How cute is that?! She does, however, continue to eat bomboane (candy) and/or biscuiți (cookies) with it...but that's not new...she did that before too, so at least she's stopped adding MORE sugar to her tea! YAY! :oD

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