East Timor

Happy Monday Friends!

We’re back on the map this week in East Timor.

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First, a little history.  Like many nations out east, East Timor, or Timor-Leste, was colonized by the West, namely the Portuguese in the early 16th century.  Nearly 100 years later, the Dutch, who claimed many of the surrounding islands, took control of the western portion of the island.  These two European powers fought over the Timor for almost fifty years until a treaty divided the land, granting Portugal the eastern half of the island as well as the western enclave of Oecussi (the first Portuguese settlement on the island).

The east remained under Portuguese control until 1975, when they suddenly relinquished control, thereby leaving the area extremely vulnerable and allowed subsequent occupation by Indonesia (formerly West Timor).  Finally, in 2002, East Timor became a sovereign state, thanks much in part to the United Nations.

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Now, let’s talk about the food!  It should be no surprise that there is a huge Portuguese influence in East Timorese cuisine (which is awesome since I loved Portuguese food…).  So picture the fabulousness of Portuguese cuisine mixed in with local ingredients: rice, coconut, cassava, curries, seafood etc.  YEAH. Get excited.

Pao (Portuguese rolls)

Batar Da’an

Pudim de Coco (coconut pudding)

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