Craftsmen, artists and creative folks from all over the country gathered in Male’ last week for this year’s Fannu Expo – a five-day exhibition organized by Ministry of Economic Development to promote local arts and crafts. The expo, which ended on Thursday, was well-received by the public, with many individuals, businesses and organizations having showcased their exhibits in various categories.
One of the most interesting categories for us was of course, culinary arts. In fact, some of the food stalls located outside Dharubaaruge enticed us with delicious aromas even before we entered the main halls.
Browsing through the exhibits, we were pleased to find a number of stalls dedicated to the variety of local flavors from various atolls and islands. Everything from Maldivian snacks such as Kulhi Kaajaa, Thelli Bambukeyo, Bondi and Ulhaali to condiments like Mas mirus, Asaara and Lonu Lunbo were abundant at the expo – it was a true celebration of our homemade delicacies! Some we were familiar with, others, not so much.
Apart from the countless types of Dhivehi food, we also got to see the works of some very talented local bakers and cake artists. The cakes on display certainly showed the hard work and dedication these individuals put into perfecting their craft.
Expos like these provide opportunities for startups and individuals to introduce their innovations, and one such product that caught our eyes was the Island Chocolate. The packaging on these chocolate bars bear beautiful imagery showcasing the natural beauty of Maldives, and they come in a range of unique flavors.
Another impressive brand we discovered at the expo was Kandoo – a local business specializing in a range of healthy, organic, chemical-free food products. The brand had placed first in the category of businesses, as well as received the Ran Thari award.
Speaking to us about the brand, Managing Director of Kandoo, Aminath Hushamath explained that her initial vision was to introduce a range of healthy food products for kids, as an alternative to store-bought products containing added sugars and other additives.
“That’s how we came up with the date spread – Date Delight. Also, for this year’s expo we have created this Detox Tea. We wanted to produce something using the leaves and flowers of various plants that are grown locally. We have different varieties including Jasmine, Hibiscus, Rose and Moringa”.
Other items in their product line include cooking oil with a special, easy-to-use packaging, and two varieties of coconut oil-based salad dressings. Apart from the food items, they also have a range of Hair and Skin products.
For individuals and businesses in the culinary industry across the country, Fannu Expo 2019 certainly was a fruitful experience. To check out the products by Kandoo and other exhibitors, keep an eye out for them at STO Supermarket, where they will be available from December onwards.
Words by Sadha
Photos by Taste