POSTCARD: A Taste of Sri Lanka

BATTICOLA, Sri Lanka—Travel veterans always tell me that street food is almost always delicious…if you’re willing to take the risk of grave and, frankly, embarrassing consequences. Walking around Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, with the lake shimmering in the distance, I couldn’t help but be tempted by the women selling “hoppers” on the streets. Squatting along the dirt roads, under the shade of trees, their workstations are littered with coconut shells. They work in the impossible heat, fanning the fire under the clay pots where “hoppers” are magically created. It’s a coconut milk and dough mixture, which is toasted on both sides. My mouth was watering as I watched others indulge—the warm, doughy inside and brown, crispy edges. The air was wafting with the soft smell of coconuts. Finally, I caved and bought one for 2 Sri Lankan rupees. The woman wrapped it in a sheet of newspaper and handed it to me. I can tell you that street food is delicious. And really, it’s not as risky as they say.