Friday, November 12, 2010

Sometimes it's the little things...

10 November 2010

Sometimes, it really is just the little things that make me happy. 

In a city and country that is often overflowing with fresh fruit, especially pineapple, it seems strange that this fruit isn’t put to use in food dishes more often.  Really, I’m just thinking of pizza.  For the past year, I’ve asked and searched for pineapple on pizza everywhere they make pizza around Dar… to no avail.  I know I’m lucky to be in a place where pizza is even made at restaurants – most places around the world, such luxuries aren't available.  We often just make our own, homemade, which is delicious but takes some work.  It just seems strange that, even per request over a couple of weeks time, restaurant owners refuse to put this lovely fruit on a pizza.

I guess we're just too far from Hawaii.
Making homemade pizza together with friends for our Compound Christmas Eve dinner last year

As my favorite pizza is ham and pineapple, this disappointment is only compounded by the fact that ham (or “gammon,” as the Brits say) is extraordinarily expensive here in Dar.  I don’t know if it’s because of the predominance of Islam or just because meat prices here can be funny… but a small ham costs about $30.00 USD, on a good day.  We splurged on it once right before Easter last year, and made it last a week.  It was some of the best meals – and tastes of home – that I’d had all year.

But because of this, any thoughts of even MAKING a Hawaiian pizza are pretty much squashed before they begin.  No little pre-cut-up squares of ham from Meijer for making salads here… actually, salad Tanzanian-style is made up of tomatoes, cucumbers, and green peppers (the red ones cost about $8 a piece at Shoppers).  Lettuce is a rarity in Dar, I’m sad to say!

But recently, as a friend headed out to a Pizzeria called Savario’s, she mentioned that they had Hawaiian pizza.  I was shocked, and had to clarify.  HAWAIIAN???  As in, Ham and Pineapple?  Being new here, she didn’t understand the significance these words held for me.  But they must have shown on my smile, because she offered to bring a pizza home especially for me.  I readily agreed. :)
Pineapple.  AND Ham.  On a pizza, ready-made!!!
The other thing that makes me happy – I’m not sure why – is Parmesan cheese.  I love cheese and it is generally very difficult to find – or very expensive – here in Dar.  I think I’ve actually seen Parmesan cheese (grated like we think of) once in all my time here so far.  I’m not sure why cheese is so expensive with so many cows wandering the streets… but that’s a different post for another day! 

A cow wandering by our compound where we live.  It's common to be sleeping... or taking a shower... or grading... or anything and hear cows mooing as they wander by with their shepherds!
At Christmas last year, my parents sent a couple of small Kraft Parmesan Cheese containers with my brother, and I literally jumped up and down like a little kid with joy.  Yes, I know.  It sounds a little silly.  But I guess I didn’t realize how much I appreciated, enjoyed, and relished good cheese till I arrived here!

Regardless, when I got my ham and pineapple pizza last week, and I was able to put real Kraft Parmesan cheese on top (sprinkled liberally for the momentous occasion), I was brimming with joy… and had to take a picture to share with all of you.

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