blogitto ergo sum

April 2, 2007

#98 How do you say amba in English?

Filed under: Uncategorized — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 22:54



Amba: Spicy mango pickle sauce. Primary ingredients are pickled mango (maybe dried ground mango/amchur), fenugreek seed and salt; it’s overwhelmingly salty and strong. No English name though.
Origins, my search reveals, are arguable. Morocco, Yaman (yemen), Iraq and India all claim the fame.

So I started with annona, and was challenged by Nava with amba. Not my favorite food for sure. Too lemony. However, that’s not the point. So let’s get couple of things clear. I love food; I love it delicious, fresh, and authentic. Unfortunately for me, I also love a lot of it, whatever it is, as long as it meets the above criteria, and sometimes even if it doesn’t.

Some of you challenged my authenticity requirement and tried to find logical flaws in it. I am not giving up on this one. If one is having food, one should have the food in its best possible form, shape and taste. As close to its origins as possible. Of course, I allow for variety and creativity, but I don’t confuse one with the other. Fusion is not making an Asian dish taste like same old, same old. Fusion means that one is creative and knowledgeable enough to mix two cuisines or more, identify the synergy potential, and take advantage of it, creating something different than the originals, without apologizing.Hummus

Dry tomato or black bean hummus for example, represents no synergy in my book; it is the outcome of over-marketing and misunderstanding the nature, the spirit of hummus.

My fusion project of the day happened (Sunday) over my late breakfast. It included jalapeños cheese, soft flat bread (lavash, of Armenian origin), Pico de Gallohomemade garlic olive-oil, and Pico de Gallo sauce that I buy in CostCo. After wetting the lavash a little bit with drops of water, placing it in the toaster-oven and taking it out 2 minutes later I created a flat surface that is soft and warm enough to absorb whatever tastes it will encounter. Drops of very garlicky olive oil, tops with slices of cheese, covered with lots of Pico de Gallo after I got as much liquids out of it as Ilavash possibly could, and… back to the oven. 3-4 minutes later, I laid a large edible rectangular, with bubbling melted cheese and lots of taste and smell to go with on a plate. After slicing it to smaller squares, my fingers could do the rest.

Bon A’ petite



  1. So – yours is a food blog?

    Comment by Nava — April 4, 2007 @ 00:32 | Reply

  2. one of the reoccurring subjects is and will be food. I love food!

    Comment by yaelol — April 4, 2007 @ 06:02 | Reply

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