Sunday, January 29, 2012
Two children's birthdays were celebrated last week with two different cakes and a dish that is unique to Malekula: Su-sor. Su-sor entails cooking mashed yams within banana leaves over an open flame with hot stones and green vegetables called nalailas. After the yams are cooked, coconut milk is squeezed over the hot stones and the greens. Small strips of yam are dipped into the coconut milk and eaten with the hands. I made me realize how resourceful the people of Vanuatu truly are and what they can create with very little tools at their disposal. I found it very difficult to believe that it was accomplished without the help of any real modern technology. I also enjoyed eating with my hands—except for the sticky quality of the su-sor I was left with after eating it. Eating with one's hands is also the custom in India, where I lived for six months in 2006, so I surprised everyone by being accustomed to it. My favorite part, however, was the nalailas soaked in coconut milk, and was delighted to learn it is growing in my garden.