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Ranovola Guide

Madagascar, Madagascar

Guida Food

Malagasy cuisine revolves around rice, an emblematic cereal in Madagascar, which holds a world record for its consumption. No wonder it is included in a number of proverbs (“Love is like a small rice plant: transplanted, it grows somewhere else”; “do not praise your own merits like the rice boiling in the cooking pot”,..) and comprises several varieties such as the honey and hazel lavou- red endemic “rojomena”.

A win-win solution

The water in Madagascar isn’t safe to drink, so you need to boil it. But the big pot was just used for making a bunch of rice, and it’s a pain to scrub off the bits of rice stuck to the bottom. The Malagasy solution is brilliant: just boil the water in the pot along with the stuck-on bits! The water gets a delightful toasty flavor, and the pan is a lot easier to clean.

This drink is a peculiar staple that has a bit of an acquired taste, but the ingredients aren’t off-putting. Ranovola is just burnt rice tea. People in Madagascar take the bottom of the rice pot and mix it in with water for a few hours to create a “refreshing” drink

This toasty-tasting drink is a sanitary and tasty alternative to flavor the local river water and it's usually drunk at the end of a meal. Because of its golden or brown color it is called "Ranovola" (lit.golden water).