A nice cup of tea and a sit down

You might think that in such a far-flung foreign outpost as Myanmar that you might be without some of the comforts in life. That may be true, but you certainly don’t have to live without your tea.

We found an authentic (all locals) teashop near the market the other day, and decided this would be the perfect thing for the afternoon.

We didn’t know the proper procedure, so we simply walked up and directed a hopeful and questioning: “tea?” to the male server outside (these places all seem to be run by teenage boys).

He brought us in and seated us at a table with several little plates of goodies already on it. He then brought over another plate, with yet another variety of tasty treat, and served us up some strong, milky orange tea. I suspiciously asked the prices of everything on the plates. Most of the plates held more than one item.

 

It turns out that you pick out and eat whatever you want and at the end, you just pay for what you ate.  The tea was only 300 kyat, and each treat was 200-300.  ($1 will get you 840 kyat.)

This would never work in the US, because the food may just sit on the table through a series of diners (but you have to let that stuff go when you’re traveling).  We tried an almond cookie that looked like it might be chewy, but turned out to be similar in flavor and consistency to biscotti, though it looked like a real cookie (I’m going through cookie-withdrawal here).

And we tried this interesting pastry that was orange on top, and had a nice almond-ish paste in the middle. This would be my favorite. There was a mix of both sweet and savory treats on the plates, but we stuck with the sweets for that day.

(Photo: View from inside the tea shop)

As with many Asian sweets, the delicacy was only mildly sweet. I’ve noticed a tendency to use an otherwise savory or neutral base (beans, rice, nuts, bread, cream) to make the sweets.

 

So you rarely end up with that mouth-coating, pain-in-your-fillings rush of sugar like you do with many of my favorite US and UK desserts.

 

But, never fear- US treats are still available. Myanmar can be added to the list of places where you can find Oreos.  Seriously- I’ve yet to visit a country without them.

 

We may not be able to force democracy on all the countries of the world, but we’ve successfully gotten them all to accept Oreos.  🙂

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