Sri Lanka is a food-lovers paradise. During a full-island tour, you can tantalize your tastebuds with spicy and sweet from fiery curries to fresh tropical fruit.
Sri Lanka’s position in the Indian Ocean meant that it was a key port for traders for centuries, and its cuisine showcases influences from across the world including Portugal, The Netherlands, and countries across south-east Asia. Take the lunchtime favourite lamprais as an example, a variation on mixed rice that became popular during Dutch colonial rule. Another local favourite is the sour sticky fruit pickle achcharu that has Malay origins.
The coconut is of huge importance in Sri Lanka, and you will find that it features heavily in most meals. The country’s national dish, simply named rice and curry, is a feast of five to six different coconut milk-based curries accompanied by rice, poppadom, and hot chutneys. As an island nation, it comes as no surprise that seafood features heavily, especially on the coast.
At breakfast you will find grated coconut combined with onion, lime and chilli, a dish called pol sambol that is enjoyed with the local delicacy string hoppers. Special flatbreads are also served with egg, fish, or chicken curry and spicy tomato-based sambol. Those who prefer to stick to western fare in the morning can enjoy, bread, eggs made to their preference, and mouthwatering fresh fruit followed by buffalo curd and treacle.
Top tip from TFG: King coconut water is a great cure for an unsettled stomach and will hydrate you faster than water!
As well as numerous coconut plantations, you will also encounter fruit farms and spice estates during your tour. Marvel at the majestic banana trees with their vibrant purple flowers and the sprawling jackfruit trees weighed down with their produce, and the contrastingly small pineapple bushes with their tiny fruit. Guided tours of the spice estates are available, so you can identify the various plants grown on the island including pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, and chilies.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can experiment with culinary experiences during your holiday. From guided street food tours to traditional cooking classes, there are many ways to explore Sri Lanka’s culinary heritage. Speak to your TFG consultant for recommendations suited to your client.