The 5th Annual Burmese Food Fair came to Long Island City this weekend, offering New Yorkers a taste of over 30 dishes made by members of the Burmese community. Like the once-a-month-or-so-during-the-summer Indonesian Bazaar at the Masjid Al-Hikmah mosque, the food fair offered visitors a chance to peek behind the cultural curtain and see what immigrants cook and share with each other outside of restaurants.
The food fair is a fundraiser organized the Moegyo Humanitarian Foundation, a volunteer group for humanitarian efforts in Burma. Local cooks donated food for the day, and sales from the fair went towards aid for Burmese orphans.
What exactly is Burmese food? As represented by the cooks here, lots of brothy noodles, salads with unexpected nuts, stewed meats, and slurpable desserts like falooda and shave ice.
The fair is a solid community event. It's easy to jump from vendor to vendor at the start of the day, but as the crowds fill in, lines start to grow, friends embrace each other, and families sit down to a veritable smorgasbord of home-cooked dishes. Oh, and there's karaoke. And yeah, it was a blast.