The Random Writings of Rachel: Pickled Nutmeg

Pickled Nutmeg

Our first Thankgiving in Malaysia, with chairs borrowed from new neighbors...and no pickled nutmeg on the menu.

When you're growing up overseas, your new community tends to take great joy in introducing you to new foods. And, nearly everything was new. I mean, we were Michiganders. At this point in my life, the only time I'd tasted a papaya was when Mom decided to combine homeschooling and grocery shopping and buy a tropical fruit for the experience of it. Just weeks after our arrival in Malaysia, some uncles and aunties took us out for a meal. We enjoyed the meal and the drinks, but one uncle decided that we needed a little more to eat, and bought a big bag of pickled nutmeg and started handing out pieces to all of us.

Some people like pickled nutmeg. My siblings and I didn't. In fact, we couldn't really force ourselves to consume it. We were grateful that the lively conversation going on between our parents and the uncles and aunties meant that no one was paying very close attention to us, and we began to start hiding pieces of pickled nutmeg in crumpled-up napkins, or under a pile of chicken bones on a plate. We took great pleasure in sneakily making it appear as if the entire first order of pickled nutmeg had disappeared.

When offered a 2nd round, we all claimed that we were already excessively full.

Later in the day, the same uncle taught us how to suck the nectar out of a particular kind of flower which is common in this region--and for dinner he ordered us a large plate of ostrich in black pepper sauce. I've always wondered if he was just joking about the ostrich--it tasted like normal mystery meat to me.

{This is Day 3 in my Write 31 Days series: 31 Days of Growing Up in Malaysia}

10 comments:

  1. pickled nutmeg?! what did it taste like? anything similar to anything? i am a super picky eat so i think that would have disappeared quickly for me too. blah.

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  2. Pickled nutmeg! I can't even imagine such a thing. And what an interesting series to share! Thank you, Rachel, for stopping by my 31 days post to visit this old lady! I love your random writings :)

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  3. Pickled nutmeg sounds interesting. What did it look like?

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  4. What!! How strange. I now must google this!

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  5. I am totally picturing the powdered nutmeg I toss into pies or fall cocoa - and then mixing that powdered nutmeg with a whole bunch of pickle juice. I'm sure that's not what it is, but that is all I see in my head when I hear "pickled nutmeg"!!! Haha talk about the worst pie ever!

    Speaking of weird foods, I was always interested in visiting the parts of the world that consider insects a valid and healthy part of the food chain. Here in America we are so grossed out but I know many other (smarter, if you ask me) cultures use them as the good source of protein they are.

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  6. I am so intrigued by this now - wow, pickled nutmeg? I can't quite imagine what that is, what it looks like, or what it tastes like.

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  7. Lol - I don't think I would like pickled nutmeg either - nutmeg already has a strong flavour, to pickle it sounds strange. How was the ostrich?

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  8. I've never heard of pickled nutmeg! Now I'm very curious!

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  9. Wow what a crazy experience living in Malaysia! I too would be really interested in trying the pickled nutmeg, though I'm fairly sure I'd hate it ;)

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  10. Pickled nutmeg? I can't even imagine what that would look like, let alone taste like.

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