O where O where did Maldive Fish go?

Our very own Gournome crawls…

Yes. I’m addressing once again, the Sri Lankan food bloggers! I read through your recipes and not a bit of Maldive fish have you added to your Sri Lankan recipes? What happened to all your recipes? I know Maldive fish is in plenty in the supermarkets of Sri Lanka, although it was scares at a time and was a very dear item. Sri Lankans themselves make the Maldive fish artificially these days. Yet, their food bloggers refuse to add even a sprinkling of the good flavor enhancer, for some reason! Are the Sri Lankan food bloggers at war with the Maldivians?

There are five flavor or taste components to be found in the area of food. These are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami or the pungent flavor.

To elaborate further, “5 basic tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami—are messages that tell us something about what we put into our mouth, so we can decide whether it should be eaten. Get to know about 5  basic tastes and learn why they matter to us.”

This is how the Maldivians make maldive fish 🐠 🐟 🎣 ⬇️

The story goes that in the good old days, as they call it, the Maldivian fishermen, who probably made these condiments by drying the tuna fish they caught in their seas, after having prepared it, brought it in their “Hoadi” or boats 🚣‍♀️ 🚣‍♂️ ⛵️to Sri Lanka, then Ceylon or Serendip. 

It is said that, “The name Serendib is a corruption of the Sanskrit compound Siṃhaladvīpa (“Dwelling-Place-of-Lions Island”). The Arabs are thought to have borrowed the name from Indians with whom they traded.”

Apparently, the Maldivian sellers would drop anchor off the southern coast of Sri Lanka and wade through to land in some way. Among their wares will be the ‘rice puller’ called Bondi Aluva and Rihaakuru apart from Umbalakada or Maldive fish.

So, when you meet the Maldivian selling their wares, one would ask them, “yaalu, Bondi aluva thibhey?” Meaning, Friend do you have Bondi aluva? If they had it with them, they would reply, “Thibhey”. If not, they will reply, “Nothibhey”!

With so much business having been conducted between the two countries over  many a year, and having enjoyed the flavour enhancer, umbalakada, over many a delicious meal, I’m surprised to find Sri Lankan food bloggers only mentioning it with regard to umbalakada sambole!

According to home cooks of yore, very little of it is used and certainly not from those packs that call themselves ‘Maldive Fish Flakes’! Who ever used Maldive fish in flakes to enhance flavour!!! You are supposed to use a few shavings of it for a dish!

As usual, Sri Lankans are forever running away from their true past. Why are these people so ashamed of the true reality of their history? 

They will change street names, of streets, they themselves did not build! They will move statues from their British colonial past from their existing places to new locations! The huge marble statue of Queen Victoria was removed from Gordon Gardens adjacent to the Queen’s House now President’s House, to the National Art Gallery on Green Path. Try as they may they still continue to speak the English Language and Sri Lankan men and women both can’t do with out their trousers!! I think these Sri Lankans are all gone crazyyyyyyyyy 😜🤪!

That’s not me taking a potshot at the men and women of Sri Lanka. It is all absolutely true! 😀😃😄

O Btw, some Sri Lankan food bloggers have even dropped the word Chinese from the Sri Lankan Chinese Rolls

What the duck! If you didn’t know, there is a very vibrant Sri Lankan Chinese community which for some reason you are ignorant enough not to know about! I happened to meet one of them and I asked him, where Sri Lanka’s China Town was. He said it’s Maradana! Ok. There you go, Maradana, Colombo 10, where I was born, is China Town, Sri Lanka. Now get this in to your thick skulls not to ignore minor minorities and their numerous achievements. Remember this, when you live in Toronto, Canada or Washington DC, USA, you are the minority of minorities in those places!!! So, do not  ignore those whom you refer to as “sulu jaathin”, because Sri Lankans are nothing but “sulu jaathin”, when you compare yourselves with the world’s populations!!!

Written by Sharmin Jayawardena

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