Monday, March 26, 2012

Ice Cream, Plazmas and Coriander

You know summer is coming when the 711 type stores take out their ice cream freezer to the curb!

I saw this about a block from my place and let out a little yelp of happiness
 If you know me well, you know that ice cream is my most favorite thing in the whole world.  I could have it any time, any day, any place, after any meal.  As long as it's hard ice cream NOT soft-serve and NOT coffee flavor, I am game for anything. I can't complain too much because the commissary at the Embassy carries Ben and Jerry's and because, before we moved, I made sure to purchase an ice cream maker at Costco to bring to Serbia.  Just in case.  So far, I have made peanut butter and Oreo ice cream, cookies and cream and Dulce de Leche.  Now that the strawberries are coming out, I am planning on making strawberry-graham cracker ice cream or actually, the Serbian version, strawberry-plazma.

Plazmas are these sort of vanilla wafers that are everywhere. I guess people here grow up eating them daily, kind of like animal crackers in the US. For example, if you get a coffee, usually, it will come accompanied with one or two regular plazmas.  They also have a specialty coffee at coffedream (a Starbucks-like chain) that is choco-cookie latte and has plazma crumbs in it; it's actually really good.  I have seen baby food "Baby Keks" with plazma, plazma shakes, and other plazma concoctions advertised at different places around town. I personally think they're tasty and a good go-to snack.  When I went to Jordan, I took my friend a sample of Serbian candy and got  her the "fancy" plazma, which are mini plazmas dipped in chocolate, but her dog ended up devouring the whole package while we were at dinner. A testament of the true diversity of the plazma.  Here is a commercial that I found on You Tube for a plazma cereal.

Obviously, I can't understand it either, but if you listen carefully, you will hear the word "banane" which I assume means banana. Therefore, as soon as I finish writing this, I will be at my local Maxi store asking for it by name and will have a full report on a later post.

Another thing I am excited about summer is getting my cilantro back.  As much as ice cream rocks my world, cilantro is one of my reasons for living.  I love, love, love it and once we moved, I had to pretty much give it up because it barely exists here.  For one thing, they use the British word for it, coriander. Then, it's practically impossible to find.  About 3 weeks after we moved, after having visited every green market in the city, including the infamous Chinese Market, I was able to get a sad little bunch from the lettuce lady at the Kalenic market.  One of my friends from the Embassy also buys it from this"coriander lady", and she describes the process of buying it as basically a drug deal.  First, you ask the other lettuce ladies to show you where the coriander lady is set up.  They look at you up and down to make sure you are worthy of the coriander and then consult with the others, finally pointing towards coriander lady. Once you get to her booth, you ask for the coriander in the most polite, patient, smiling way possible and the lady will go UNDER her table for what feels like forever and produces one little bunch of cilantro leaves.  Then you just keep cool and say thank you and pay a ridiculous amount, when what you really want to do is to jump up and down with excitement and kiss her and hug her.  Then you walk away, like you aren't really holding anything special, but your heart is beating twice as fast and you just can't keep the smile away from your face, like you are hiding a really good secret.

Secret or not, coriander lady went MIA during the cold and the snow, and now that it's nice out I still haven't been able to find her. Luckily, my mom sent me some seeds, and coincidentally, my friend found a real, live plant, that I have now transplanted to a bigger pot and am treating like a newborn baby.  This is my first time EVER planting or growing anything, so I am really nervous about over watering or putting my plants in places that are too sunny.

yes it looks sad, but it's all mine!

Very soon, I will have bunches and bunches of cilantro, so that I can make momos and burritos.  After all, they do have the rest of the ingredients easily available at every supermarket.  I have to laugh a little bit at the tortillas though. 1.  Why does the burrito look more like a gyro/schwarma?  and 2.  Why are my tortillas endorsed by MTV?

I also have beef with the sour cream here, even though the taste is the same as at home and it's perfectly fine, there is always one question in my mind: WHY IS THERE NO LID?


Filip said...

Yes, that cilantro looks real sad

Maryland Momma said...

ah yes, all of lifes important questions...why is there no lid to the sour cream??? your cilantro story reminded me of Wall-E :0)

Miki said...

Why is there no lid!?
Because it's ridiculously small (0.2l). I eat at least 2 of them with sarmice sa zeljem or with punjene paprike, 3 yogurts with burek, etc. :)

La Leche Belgrade said...

Ok. I think you will have to take me for a coffee once I tell you the secret of finding cilantro in Belgrade!
METRO store has it. And the bunches are BIG

Good luck!

La Leche Belgrade said...

METRO alo has Celery for the price of 70 rsd!!!

Anonymous said...

Milleram - you need to try milleram, the higher the percentage the better. and you will never ever complain about Serbian sour cream type things again. And it comes in bigger containers with a lid.... Trust the Trish:-)

J said...

You REALLY love cilantro. I mean in an unhealthy way.