Burmese cuisine is influenced by the cuisine of the five countries that surround it – Thailand, Laos, China, India and Bangladesh – but tastes like none of them.
A traditional Burmese meal is typified by rice accompanied by numerous side dishes designed to satisfy the four primary flavours: sour, salty, spicy and bitter. Meat, seafood and vegetable curries make up the side dishes as well as soups and a variety of salads.
As well as rice, the Burmese also enjoy hot and cold noodle dishes often eaten for breakfast, lunch or daytime snacks.
If you visit Burma, you’re very likely to come across pickled tea leaves (known as lehpet) – a versatile Burmese delicacy that is eaten an appetiser, main meal, dessert or snack. It is often served in a lacquerware dish with roasted nuts, seeds and garlic.