Food and Drink
Rice and curry and curry are the staple food of Sri Lanka. The Western nationals might prefer curry and little rice, but Sri Lankans need lot of rice and several curries of which one will be hot. Not all curries are spicy hot, but if the name carries “devilled”, as in devilled fish or devilled chicken, it will be served with a flame red chilli sauce. The best rice and curry meals are those that are home cooked, preferably in clay pots. Those served in country rest houses for local guests are also of the same calibre.
Snacks of Sri Lanka,
which are also called “short eats”, range from savoury patties to deep fried
hard boiled eggs, hoppers, battered rolls stuffed with vegetables, fish buns, etc.
This type of food is ideal when you are on the road as it is less messy. A wide range of international dishes are also available at main tourist centres. As aleading tourist venue, Sri Lanka has one of the best hygiene records in Asia and stomach complaints are uncommon. Nevertheless, you might like to comply with the following guidelines:
• Bottled water purchased at a cheaper price at local shops where it is abundantly available than at top hotels. Ensure that the seal has not been tampered with. Top hotels also supply flasks of boiled and filtered water. Ensure you do not become dehydrated, especially after strenuous exercise. Coconut water is renowned as a settler of a queasy stomach, although some may prefer to take their medicinal coconut in the form of arrack – the local firewater;
• When eating, consider the old advice: ‘boil it, bake it, peel it or ignore it.’ Be particularly wary of salads and unpeeled fruit. Ensure your meat is thoroughly cooked. If you have any doubts, overlook the buffet and order freshly–cooked meals even if it takes a little longer;
• Wash your hands thoroughly before each meal if you wish to follow local customs and eat with your hands (without cutlery). When eating out, there is a wide array of restaurants in Colombo serving local as well as international cuisine, fast food, 5 star hotel buffets, etc. The five–star hotels in Colombo also offer a variety of continental, domestic and other Asian cuisines. It is advised to eat at hotels when travelling out side of Colombo for hygienic reasons.