Where: Cinnamon Grand, Nugagama
What: Jaffna Food Festival
When: 15th Feb to the 25th of Feb
The Jaffna Food festival is very close to my heart and I am very happy that the Cinnamon Grand came up with this idea last year. Food has always been a part of the Jaffna culture, from a wedding to a funeral the food is lavish. In Jaffna, everything is cultivated close to home and the ingredients are mixed with so much heart to create dishes that burst with multitudes of flavors in your mouth.
What inspired me was the fact that there was so much attention to detail and the hotel had brought everything that is Jaffna, here to Colombo, while working with the people who hail from North. As someone who had enjoyed this as a child growing up in Chillala, from the mutton blood stir fry to Jackfruit seed fried, to the hot boiling khool they had everything brewing. They had over 70 authentic Jaffna dishes being made by Jaffna Ladies.
The traditional dance acts with their loud music really bursts through your ears while your forehead breaks into a sweat with the kick of spice. You just want to serve up more and more. But to cool things off they have a nice toddy. The last time I tasted anything similar was when I was 6 back in Jaffna when dada gave me a taste straight from the Palmyrah tree.
Walk into the food festival you get a lot of side shops welling some lovely Palmyrah products. The best part is that the entire palmyrah tree is used in Jaffna for various products. The service is wonderful and the people are kind and welcoming.
To wrap up such a good feast they have a mouthwatering dessert spread and the cinnamon masterpiece is definitely the nelli ice-cream.