This is the chicken I got from Aqil last week.
I unashamedly begged him for a few pieces of his latest shipment.
He goes to school at University of Washington, and lives twenty minutes away from me.
Though Aqil is totally in the swim of American culture, he loves his native Malaysian cuisine
The chicken was prepared by his mom.
Where she lives with her husband, the Ambassador of Malaysia to Cuba, and Aqil's brother and sister. Her Cuban kitchen is filled with the spices of home, and even in the midst of this sparse Caribbean island, she manages to feed her family their favorite, familiar meals. .
Aqil's mother grew up in Kelantan, a quaint little corner of Malaysia, tucked up under Thailand on the beaches of the South China Sea. She learned how to blend spices and flavors in proper Kelantanese style from her mother, Aqil's grandmother, whom I hear was quite a cook.
As so, as I tore into these delicious drumsticks with my fingers and sucked every delicious and spicy morsel from the bones, as is the Kelantanese way, I thought of Aqil, and his mother in Cuba, and his Kelantanese grandmother, and what a beautiful miracle it is that they all helped to bring this tasty treat to my American table.
All I can say in return is, hey Aqil, thanks for the chicken.