Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mmmmm, deep fried goodness...

This weekend marks one of the few highlights of living in Canberra - the annual Multicultural Festival. It usually falls on either the hottest day of the year, or the stormiest day of the year. This year, thankfully, it was slightly humid and pretty overcast, but not too hot and not actually raining. Miracle!

The photos are a bit crap because I didn't want to carry my SLR around while pushing through crowds, so I took my point and shoot. I now remember why I bought my SLR...

Anyway, there's usually a whole group of people from work heading in, but this year for whatever reason, there wasn't. I headed in quite early to try and avoid the worst of the crowds. My first priority was this:
Inca Kola, soft drink of the gods. Or, as Jamie referred to it this morning, nuclear cola. It's rather appropriate, given its fluorescence, don't you think?

Anyway, the past two years, I've been able to find Ecuadorian/Salvadorian/some other kind of South American food stall selling Inca Kola. This year? NOTHING. I got momentarily excited when I came across a Peruvian stall. But they sold nothing but orange juice. ORANGE JUICE!!! *sigh* I was more than a little upset by the lack of Inca Kola. Although the blow was lessened by the existence of a Peruvian chicken shop 10 minutes up the road in Belconnen that sells Inca Kola, it's been the highlight of the Multicultural Festival the past two years. I settled for bottled water instead. Not nearly as much fun...

Oh, and I saw these tiny kids (they were probably between 6 and 8, I think) doing something that looked like the Haka, only Polynesian. They clearly took their performance very seriously, and whenever one of them would do something wrong, he'd freak out and make extra fierce faces to cover up his mistake.

And apparently my camera thought I wanted photos of the people in front of me's heads... Awesome. Shortly after this, I came across a bagpiper in full Scottish regalia playing Scotland the Brave outside the ATO. It struck me as remarkably entertaining for some reason. But then he moved onto playing Waltzing Matilda, which should DEFINITELY not be played on the bagpipes, and I had to run away.

Anyway, after wandering around for 45 minutes fruitlessly searching for soft drink dyed with highlighters and watching tiny children dance like warriors, I gave up and decided it was time to hit the food stalls. I started out with a vegetarian quesadilla from a Mexican stall.

It seemed to have some kind of spinach and potato concoction in it, along with the obligatory quesadilla cheese and red salsa. It was pretty damned good, although I managed to cover myself in salsa by neglecting to pick up napkins...

Then I met up with Leah, and we wandered off in search of more food. She tried some Ethiopian samosas (the vegetarian ones contained lentils instead of potato, but I'm still not sure how samosas are a traditional Ethiopian food...), and then we queued up for these:

Czech potato pancakes. And they were really good, although they could have done with a squeeze of lemon juice on the top to add a little zing. They reminded me quite a lot of latkes, only bigger and crispier. Which reminds me - there was an Israeli food stand there, but it appeared to sell Turkish/Lebanese food. It was all hummus and felafels and tabbouleh. Very perplexing...

Anyway, then we had a wander around some of the stalls and came across this display of folk dancing. I have no idea where it was from, but they appeared to be having a good time!
Lots of jumping and twirling in circles, accompanied by some *very* special socks...

Eventually, we decided it was time to give up on savoury food and move onto dessert. And there was only one thing that we both wanted: churros.

I love churros. These were crispier than most that I've had, but DAMN, they were good. And filling. I'd been planning on indulging in a Polish doughnut (I'm still disappointed that they ran out last year) and some cannoli from the Sicilian stall as well, but by the time I finished the churros (and yes, I drank the leftover chocolate. Stop judging me...), I thought it best to stop before someone (me) had a heart attack.

So this year's Multicultural Festival wasn't *quite* the eating marathon that I thought it would be. Despite that, I still think I consumed an entire month's worth of calories in one sitting!! And it was worth every single one of them. Although I'm somewhat regretting not getting some curry or some noodles. But that definitely would have been overkill!

K xx


  1. I love churros too. And latkes. And most foods. Glad that you had a good time!

    Perhaps the kids were doing kapa haka? It's kind of a cross between traditional Maori haka and break dancing. It is awesome :-D

  2. I attempted to find out which country they were representing through the program, but it just said "Pacific Island performers" for the whole morning. It definitely wasn't NZ - their costumes had hibiscus all over them, which to me implies tropical! - but it looked very similar to the haka...

  3. This might be a controversial statement, but the Polynesian cultures have a lot of similarities and overlaps. Plus there are a lot of people with both Pacific Island and Maori heritage. I guess then you can combine the best of everything for the sake of entertainment!


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