Chamorro food is a clash of Asian noodles and rice meets Jamaican ‘jerk’ tradition meets southern fried chicken. With vendor after vendor biding for your business they offer over flowing plates of red-rice (their own flare of seasoning) noodles and veggies, grilled corn, shrimp patty, spare ribs, fried chicken, fried pork chops, fried whole fish (like the just dunk the entire fish, skin, gills, eyes and all in the deep fryer) grilled BBQ chicken or pork kabobs.
So far we have loved everything we've tried. We've yet to have the afore mentioned fish. Think I'll wait for Dad to visit and try his. Best idea to visit hungry and be prepared to try a variety of local food.
Spare ribs were quite tasty.
Mixed in with the food, craft vendors are selling almost anything one could think of. Birdhouses made from dried coconuts, hand crafted leis, beautifully colored sarongs, hair pins displaying the local flowers, sea shells of all sizes, baked goods (some of the best banana bread (they call it cake) I’ve ever had), piggy banks made from drained coconuts, and the list goes on.
In the main pavilion is live music. Well a couple of guys to play guitars and a single drum along with a music track. With song after song filling the air the crowd enjoys watching both the young and old dance to new hits and old classics.
If anyone ever doubts, the electric slide is universal. I [Em] have never been
anywhere that when the song started everyone in the room didn't move to get in on the action.
As with any open air festival, there are plenty of people to watch. Some who would rival the Asheville locals at Bel Cher, I promise. I [Em] find it intriguing to watch the Japanese tourist trying to take in this island culture meets eclectic wandering souls. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good picture of a couple who looked like they simply jumped aboard a ship and sailed straight here from Mardi Gras. Maybe next time.
A mere 30 yards from the pavilion is an amphitheatre where students from different public and private schools perform the cultural dances from Guam and other surrounding islands. The pride the students have in their cultural heritage was inspiring. Boys and girls as young as 4 were dressed in native attire. The teenage girls dawned the grass skirts classic to the island cultures. The teenage boys were proud to display the warrior dances familiar from many islands in the Micronesia area. It’s not often in the states when you find students so anxious and proud of their heritage. Such a special treasure the island is able to protect while being so isolated.
Before we left we happened upon 2 Japanese women selling "Fruit Fry Ice". Yes, they said it just that way. Go ahead, laugh. Not 'fruit fried ice', fruit fry ice. I know each of you can hear these little Japanese women trying to peddle their product through the load roar of the village. Even though we stood their and watched them make it, we are not sure how it was done. Basically they poured some pineapple juice and pineapple puree on a really cold metal slab. Kind of like marble slab, but the contraption was plugged in to keep the extreme cold temperature. The pineapple nearly immediately froze into this smooth, slushy, almost sherbet like consistency. Then, just like Marble Slab, they mixed in your choice of 2 fresh fruits. We selected strawberries and mangoes. Topped with a few candied cherries it was ours to enjoy. Oh my goodness did we ever enjoy. It was spectacular. Possibly one of the greatest things I have ever had. Okay that might be an exaggeration. But so refreshing and in the top 10. I think Ryan will have to get his own next time.
One other thing that I will certainly have to learn to make in the next couple of years is fried banana lumpia. They are served on a stick, just like a corn dog. Unfortunately, I devoured it before Ryan could take a picture.
We are off to try more food here on our rock in the middle of the Pacific.