The best burmese snacks that will leave you speechless
I’ve been eating Burmese snacks ever since I learned how to munch down on food. Burmese snacks, for me, are snacks that remind me of family and community. They’re snacks that aren’t meant to be eaten alone, but instead are to be shared with whoever is willing to have a bite. The bends and the curves of each snack is documentation of the chef’s handiwork and it shows just how much care and attention is put into the creation of each treat. Which makes each one unique. Because of this, these treats are not ones that one would describe as flawless with just a glance. However, they are snacks that will earn this title of perfection with just a bite.
In my opinion, the best Burmese snacks are not found in places like restaurants, or in shops. The best Burmese snacks are the ones that pass your street one to two times a day, and are sold on trays placed on top of the head of a very loud seller. Sellers whose voices – so loud – would carry into one’s home through their windows – either open or closed – and entice one to listen to what snacks this full throated seller had at hand.
And as a traditional Burmese citizen of 17 years, I am coaxed into it every time.
And everytime the seller places her tray down, these snacks are always laid around the circular tray. Waiting to be enjoyed and these are a few of my favorites
Mote Let koute kwin, the burmese donut – Direct translation, bracelet snack. A snack that is rounded into circles and similar to a donut but too thin and much less doughy to be identical. Each Mote Let Koute Kwin is different, because each bracelet has their own unique curves and bends that flaunt the chef’s handiwork on full display.
This curvy bracelet is commonly paired with a sweet and rich sauce made from jaggery. That, once dipped, coats the bracelet in a dark and smooth gloss that slithers its way around and over the curves before the snack makes its way into the mouth of a hungry Burmese (or tourist 🙂 ). And once tasted, the richness and attractiveness of the sauce tempts one for another bite.
Truthfully the sauce is the star in this snack. The sweetness of the jaggery has a hold on you like no other, which is why before you know it, you’re going in for a second bite, then a third, then a fourth, a fifth, and finally you’ve devoured the whole tray.
Mote Sain Paung, a cake-like layered stack of delicious sweetened and powdery rice. Starting with white on the bottom, and moving up to a mix and match of brown, white and dark brown. This coconut covered snack is sometimes the star of the tray, since it can be placed in the middle where it towers over all the other treats. Waiting to be cut into and tried. The mont sein paung has a very unique texture and taste to it. One like no other, because, once tasted it leaves a trace of flavor in your mouth that you may never forget. The treat, since it’s made with grinded rice, has the tendency to crumble once it enters your mouth and make its way onto each individual taste bud. Introducing its flavors to the taste detectors on your tongue. Leaving your mouth speechless within the first bite. Coconut! Bean! Rice, all the flavors adhering to one’s taste pallet.
The aroma surrounding a mote sein paung is also just as good as the flavors that come with it. The smell is soft and smooth, and is so enticing that it makes whoever is near turn to search for it. This is one of the snacks that is just waiting for someone to try them so the flavor combinations and sensational textures wow them into even disbelief. That’s how good this snack is.
FRIED, FRIED EVERYTHING FRIED! :
On a street seller’s tray, there is an assortment of snacks but the ones that will catch your eye the most are the fried treats! Almost most of the snacks on the tray will be fried and all of them are definitely worth a taste.
For example, Mandalay pe kyaw, if you like the savory kind, this is the snack for you. Also known as red bean fritters,these treats are deep fried bean snacks that are full of creamy and crunchy enjoyments.
The fritter has a very distinct smell that entices one to grab one and take a bite. And I am guilty of falling for it everytime. The fritter is also commonly paired with a light and spicy sauce that coats the treat in the most delicious spices, and makes the treat better than it already was.
Another mentionable fried snack would be the normal pe kyaw. Which is less brown and more light and yellow in complexion, compared to the Mandalay version. Because normal pe kyaw is not fried with red beans, but instead is fried with yellow peas! The snack has the distinct taste of fried yellow peas that any Burmese local would recognize and because of this it is a local delicacy. It can be enjoyed by itself, or with the same sauce dipped by mandalay pe kyaw or even cracked into mohinga!
These are some of my top favorite burmese treats and that is why these are the ones that I chose to include in my essay. There are many other delicious and noteworthy snacks on a Burmese seller’s tray but these three are the ones that I believe are the ones worth trying the most. The ones that will stay with you forever.