About Me

Almost Bananas documents life in Slovakia, through the eyes of a foreigner. I especially focus on the culture of Slovakia – traditions, food, and the arts – although you’ll also find places to visit and random thoughts. You’ll also find my more adventurous recipes, especially those related to foraging, fermenting, and offal.

Almost Bananas originally started out as a food blog with a little of Slovakia thrown in for the benefit of personal friends and family. Over time, the focus has switched. You may have some tie to Slovakia, but even if you don’t I hope you enjoy discovering a lesser known culture with me.

Growing up in the middle of nowhere Canada, I was exposed to another culture from the get go, in a time and place that wasn’t yet so multicultural. Having a father from Japan meant that we were as likely to have miso soup and rice for breakfast as eggs and bacon; we had Hello Kitty paraphernalia before anybody had heard of it; and kimonos were hanging in the closet. Meanwhile, we had a farmĀ outside of a small town, played Scottish airs at family gatherings, and lived off the grid.

This early introduction to another culture other than the surrounding one gave me an appreciation for traditions from all parts of the world. As I grew older and more people moved in from other countries, I loved the traditions they brought, particularly culinary ones. At a pot luck I could sample banana leaf wrapped coconut rice, beef stew, or pudding filled pizzelles.

Now that I live in a new-to-me culture, I enjoy finding differences even after 10 years of life in Slovakia. It’s a beautiful country but tends to get left out of the travelogues. Surrounded by famous neighbours (Vienna, Prague, and Budapest are all relatively close), it can be easy to miss this hidden gem of a country. Slovakia has its share of castles and architectural sites, but what I love most are the lives and traditions of the people, whether current or historical.

And myself? My name is Naomi, my husband and I have four children, including twins. I started this blog when the twins were a year and a half, hence the name. I strive for a healthy lifestyle, imperfectly. I delight in finding beauty around me, hikes in nature, and a child’s laugh.

You can contact me at almostbananas [at] gmail [dot] com.

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