Even though the world is gradually starting to open up, I’m enjoying these date nights and am going to continue to do them, although I may not call them quarantine date nights once quarantine is completely done. Anyway, Madagascar. I’ll be honest, while I’ve always wanted to go, it’s been more for baobab trees and lemurs than anything, and I didn’t know much about the country before planning this date night.
So what is there in Madagascar? What is the food? For that matter, what are people who live there called? On this date night, we will explore those things.
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Malagasy-Themed Date Night
Eat: Romazava and Cherry Vanilla Clafoutis
First off, those from Madagascar are known as Malagasy. And in the Malagasy language, the word for food is the same as the word for rice. Rice is ubiquitous here. Romazava is a stew of different meats (I used beef and chicken) and three different greens (I used spinach, arugula, and watercress) seasoned with ginger and peppers and served over rice. Traditionally, one of the greens locally found in Madagascar makes your lips numb, but I didn’t have that one, sadly. I cooked my rice in the stew rather than serving it over, making for a nice green dish!
Madagascar is a former French colony, so desserts have significant French influence. A clafoutis is a cross between a custard and a cake, typically made with fruit. Madagascar is a large producer of cherries, hence using those, and of course the country is known for its vanilla. Trust me, you want to eat this!
Learn: French Annexation of Madagascar
Sadly I wasn’t able to find an animated history of Madagascar, but this short video on France’s annexation of the island was well done. It’s history like this that I feel is incredibly important to learn – how western powers carved up the world and truly messed it up.
Visit: Madagascar Highlights
I found a travel vlog on Madagascar, excited to see some highlights. Well, it sucked. So I’m not going to link to it except for showing a single screenshot of the capital city, Antananarivo. Do yourself a favor and just watch Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown in Madagascar. He talks about the balance between keeping the jungles pristine and the needed economic value of the place for the people who live there. It’s incredibly well done, as 95% of his stuff is.
Watch: Madagascar Safari
This is what I knew of the island: cool animals like lemurs, and awesome vistas. This documentary shows so many amazing lemurs… and other stuff. But lemurs!! I think if you don’t love lemurs you likely don’t have a soul.
Madagascar seems so far away, and it really is. But on a simple date night, you can get a taste (literally and figuratively) for this amazing island. I hope you enjoyed it and plan your own Malagasy date night soon!
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