Thursday, 20 October 2016

Not Little Britain - more the United Nations

[This is an occasional glimpse into the lives of a couple of British expats living in Stanley in the Falkland Islands, South Atlantic.  This week, to celebrate the fact that there are dozens of different cultures and nationalities living here, people came to together to enjoy the differences.....and food!]

To reflect the growing diversity of the Falkland Islands, a weekend of events was organised by volunteers. Of course, what do many people miss when they move to somewhere new, apart from friends? Yes, food.
Meat deliveries, pre-supermarket 
So, although there were national dances, costumes and customs, food seemed to be the dominant theme. These old photos of Falklands' life (shown at the Historic Dockyard Museum) show how people coped before fridges, freezers and regular food supplies from abroad.
Collecting penguin eggs to survive the winter
A big event was held on Saturday, with about 12 different nationalities offering some tasty treats from their homelands. Being Scottish, I would loved to have cooked a haggis, but the supermarket had run out!
His Excellency the Governor and his wife sampling Peruvian food.
The Falklands stand had quite a variety of home-cooked food - goose pate; mutton chops, delicious smoked trout, and so on.
Falklands Fayre - Upland goose pate, smoked trout, mutton chops,potted meat.......
But the more exotic stands were attracting the crowds. Firstly, I needed to get some filling and delicious Irish Stew inside me!
The minimalist Irish stand - Hurley sticks, Guinness, soda bread and Irish Stew.  What more do you need?
The Australian and New Zealand stand had some interesting additions to my culinary education. The baked bean sandwiches seemed popular with our student population, and such a simple recipe....
ANZAC biccies
There was a Phillipines stall, reflecting the large number of Filipino people that have made the Falklands their home.
The cheerful Zimbabwean ladies.
The Zimbabwean food was appreciated by most, although the smoked caterpillar was an acquired taste.  I had three, and didn't acquire the taste at all. Many Zimbabweans are in the Falklands to clear the thousands of mines left behind by Argentine troops after the war of 1982.  Their efforts are greatly appreciated by Islanders, and their presence adds much to local life.  
Man vs Caterpillar
There was also food from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal.  Feeling a bit bloated, I was happy to hear that the national dancing would be starting soon.  First up was Chile - I forgot to mention the excellent empanadas etc on the Chile stall!
Those Chilenos could dance! They were followed by Gurkhas, Filipinos, Falkland Islanders and more. But my camera batteries had run out........   :-(

An old Filipino recipe....
The next day, at the Racecourse, camera batteries fully charged, we ventured out to try more cultural experiences.....and food!!
Chilean asado. 
The choice of food may not have impressed a vegetarian, but for carnivores, the slow-roasting lamb and pig were a delight.  Especially as the Chilean and Filipino community had added their special preparations for these meals.
The Dog trials get underway... "Guilty!"
While waiting for the meat to cook (gas mark 2 for 6 hours.....), we were entertained by more "culture" - in the shape of sheep dog trials, sheep shearing, and numerous races and competitions.... It was just a very relaxing and chilled way to meet up with friends and enjoy the sights and smells wafting across the racecourse.
Another happy sheep shorn.....
Probably the best chicken I've tasted......over an hour on the grill and still succulent.

Not fast food.......but worth the wait.
By about 2pm, queues were beginning to form near the BBQs. The smells were making most people salivate.

To keep them occupied, the organisers (all volunteers), laid on a tug-of-war between the boys and girls. The contest was very close until someone said "Heave", and the girls went backwards at a rate of knots.
Girls vs Boys tug-of-war. Girls won.....
The boys asked for a rematch, and were even more quickly routed. Next up was a batch of sheep who were only too happy to get rid of their winter fleeces.
Sheep looking happy to lose the woolly layer.......
The skill involved was breathtaking, and watching the shearer was hypnotic. I stood beside one lovely lady, who said, "I can't believe I'm still fascinated by this - I must have seen 30,000 sheep being sheared!"
Start of the mile race.
All too soon, we had to say our farewells. The energetic were still racing each other to the end of the racecourse and back, but we had a literally fruitless journey to the fruit and veg shop, to find out that Chilean Customs had once again stopped our fresh produce arriving in the islands.
The mile race heads out to the turn.
However, considering that I had tasted smoked caterpillar, and lots of other tastier foods this weekend, it didn't seem like we were going to starve any time soon.

A great weekend: lots of exotic cultures, mixed in with lots of traditional activities. And all within walking distance of our house!

More soon



  1. Sounds like a great fun day out. There is always something going on down in the South Atlantic.

  2. Yes, it was a couple of good days. A mix of local and exotic people and cultures