The cultivation of many types of rice, spices, vegetables and fruit, coupled with past foreign influences, ensures that Sri Lanka enjoys a varied and select cuisine. As a staple, rice is consumed with an assortment of colorful curries (eggplant, potato, green banana, chicken, fish) that range in potency from delicately–spiced to near–dynamite.
Other Sri Lankan staples include hoppers (a pancake–like snack), string hoppers (steamed rice noodles) and pittu (a mixture of flour and coconut). Lamp–raise – rice and accompaniments baked in plantain leaves is a legacy of the Dutch. Seafood lovers will rejoice at the fresh fish, prawns, crab, squid and crayfish available. Desserts include buffalo curd eaten with palm–honey, and the Malay–derived caramel–like wattalapam.
Sri Lanka has a wonderful array of snacks, known as short eats, named cutlets, patties, malu pang (fish bun), and kimbula bunis (crocodile–shaped bun!) that are excellent for trips.
Delectable fruit includes the popular mango, pineapple, banana and papaya, but also many lesser known but distinctive examples such as sapodilla, mangoosetin , rambuttan, woodapple, custard apple and beli.