· “Always be yourself. Unless You can be a Unicorn. Then Always be a Unicorn”
Happy Halloween! An occasion where all sorts of mystical creatures emerge. After more than 20 years of visiting the Maldives, I might not have seen a whale shark yet, but I have seen a unicorn. Not just once, but twice. At the Hard Rock and SAii Lagoon’s kids club who host an “awesome Unicorn Party”. Then, later at the main restaurant buffer Unicorn Froot Loops not only provided another encountered with this mystical creature, but also satisfied my American-bred addiction to high-fructose corn-syrup.
Ocean Indian cuisine in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Hard Rock and SAii Lagoon’s Ministry of Crab serves up a true delicacy crab biryani which we thoroughly enjoyed during our visit there:
“Cooked with 1.5kg of the finest Mud crab from Sri Lanka, this is the largest deshelled crab dish on our menu and preserves the ideologies of the traditional biryani with our own take on it. Each clay pot serves 6, includes 12 eggs and is accompanied with a Fresh Mint Sambol, hand ground on our Miris Gala and the Classic Malay pickle.”
I do love when resorts bring local flavours to luxury ingredients. With this post, I am adding a “Crab” tag so that this crustacean can take its place alongside its culinary crustacean, Lobster.
While all the other resorts are competing on the best amenities (like specialised dietary preferences) and comfortable lodging for their guests, Amilla is putting the same attention to care and comfort to their…chickens. The marketing team has even gotten in on the project with alluring branding for the compound dubbed “Cluckingham Palace” (the top rooster dons the royal moniker of “Sir Clucks-A-Lot”)
The project is more than just a galliphile consideration, but also means that vegans can enjoy eggs on the island. Most vegans shun eggs because of the conditions under which they are produced. Some vegan friends keep chickens as pets so they can give them a comfortable life and enjoy their eggs in return. Ostensibly, “free range” eggs should have this same acceptability, but often the regulatory standard of “free” is lower than the vegans’. But if you have any questions or concerns or just curiosity, guests are welcome to tour the Palace. It’s so ornithologically appealing that quite a number of non-chicken birds frequent it as well.
Amilla even hired a poultry nutritionist who created 8 page guide to what scraps can be given to the chickens by the kitchen, including:
Raw green potato peels — Potatoes are members of the Nightshade family (Solanaceae). Green Potato peels, especially when they turn green from exposure to the sunlight, contain the alkaloid solanine, which is toxic. Sweet potatoes and sweet potato skins belong to a different plant family and do not contain solanine. They are safe to feed to your chickens.
Avocado skins and pits — These contain persin, a fungicidal toxin, that can be fatal to chickens.
Raw meat — Feeding chickens raw meat can lead to cannibalism.
Broccoli: Yes. Broccoli is safe to feed to your chickens. It is high in numerous vitamins and low in fat; mine prefer it cooked. You can give it to them in a suet cage to keep them pecking all day.
Tomatoes: Yes. Chickens love tomatoes! Tomatoes are high in vitamin C, K & B9, fiber, potassium and antioxidants. Chickens cannot eat the plant, leaves or flowers they are poisonous as they contain solanine.
Strawberries: Yes. Strawberries are a favorite treat; they are high in trace elements and vitamins A, C & B9. Also contains an anti-inflammatory component called quercetin.
Peanuts: No. We are erring on the side of caution here. Peanuts can be bad for some small birds and mammals, there’s no reliable information on chickens. When in doubt: don’t feed it to them!
Oats: Yes. They can eat raw or cooked oats. Some research indicates that oats fed to pullets helps to reduce feather picking. Oats contain vitamins and minerals also some protein.
Miscellaneous —chickens also enjoy shrimp tails, unsweetened yogurt and spaghetti. One customer told us they serve pumpkin to their chickens because it is a natural dewormer.
QI: How does an octopus smell? A: Depends if he’s had cabbage chilli for dinner (ba-dum-dum). *BUZZ*. A: With its nose? QI: *BUZZ* As this Harvard researcher determined, and like so many other activities in the octopus’ fascinating life, with its suckers (“Touch and taste? It’s all in the suckers”)
Always up for a ice cold sweet, I uncovered the biggest selection of ice lollies I’ve seen in the Maldives at Jumeirah Maldives. Over a dozen varieties of various fruits and flavours and different shapes to boot. Foraging for my “Not Yet Seens” on our annual tours, the resort might want to consider #13 here.