April 5th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
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Jamie Feldmar is a food and travel writer. Read more about her at jamiefeldmar.com and follow her on Twitter @jfeldmar

Eating does not usually pose a challenge to me. I’m a food writer by trade, with the appetite of a dozen varsity shot putters combined. It’s my job to eat and to know about what I’m eating, but I was having a hard time in Myanmar.

The problem wasn’t that I found the food unappetizing - far from it. I’m smitten by the flavors of curries, chilies, shallots and seeds, all of which make frequent appearances in Myanmar's cooking. The issue was that I was completely overwhelmed. Standing streetside in an early-morning market on my first day in Yangon, surrounded by vendors hawking strange spices, fantastical vegetables and prehistoric-looking fish, I’d never felt more unfamiliar with a style of food in my life.

So I spent the next two weeks methodically eating my way across the country, prowling produce markets, following the crowds to skilled street vendors and talking to the ultra-friendly locals about everything edible. It was hardly long enough to understand to all of the complexities of the cuisine, but by the end, I’d learned enough to finally feel a tiny bit at home.

Whether you’re planning a trip of your own or just armchair traveling, here’s what you need to know about food in Myanmar.
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Filed under: Asia • Asian • Bite • Burma • Burmese • Content Partner • Cuisines • Parts Unknown • Travel


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