Monday, 13 January 2014

scenes from yesterday: December 2013, mata-mata

Video now attached! *Whoops*

Not so very long ago we visited Malo to see some friends. We enjoyed a very special Malo custom: Mata-mata. Mata is the Malo-language word for snake. We didn't eat snake, we ate snake-shaped laplap. Here's how ordinary grated wild yam is turned into snake-laplap:

The leaf being used to hold the wild yam inside the bamboo is from the Natangora Palm, the same leaf used for thatch.

Then the bamboo packages are roasted on a fire. The open end must be roasted first. The wild yam swells and forms a plug. If roasting began at the closed end, the wild yam would be pushed out the opening as it cooked and swelled.

After roasting, the bamboo is split open, the natangora leaf peeled off and the "snake" served on a platter with coconut milk.



Raeline said...

Preparation is a big part of meals in Vanuatu, isn't it.

Rachael said...