Saturday, July 07, 2007

AN OVERDOSE OF CHOPSTICKS

A sudden decision saw me heading down to our southern neighbour on Sunday. The journey was a long drive reminiscent of certain Sunday afternoons of the not so distant past.
The main reason behind the unexpected journey (I say unexpected because I was only informed about it officially on Tuesday) is obviously a tad too boring for a blog post. Suffice to say that it involved hours spent in the lab mulling over non complex formulations and the testing of said formulations.
But the interesting part I should say, is the food...
The organisers of the training took care of us pretty well in terms of nourishment. For four days, lunch and dinner times saw us at restaurants serving cuisines from different parts of China. Shanghainese and Szechuan among others. And 'The Boss' (as how he was referred to -kind of makes you end up thinking of mafia like scenarios!) took the task of explaining about each dish as it was served. For instance Szechuan cuisine has an extremely hot and spicy flavour to it (beats cili padi anytime!) and the 8 herbs tea helps balance the heat. And there's this fantastic dish of aubergines cooked in a curry like gravy which was simply fabulous. Just for the record, in actual life I actually despise aubergines on most occasions. A fellow friend commented that the food we were eating is the kind that used to be served to the emperors in the older days.
In that 4 days we ended up eating almost everything that moves under the sun. From fowls to fish and frogs and mushrooms (of course mushrooms don't really move on their own because they can't but we'll just pretend this one time that they can, aight?) and an assortment of appetisers and deserts. I must say that the people of S'pore are slightly obsessed with mangoes. (All of them... it simply amazes me, and they were pretty horrified when I said that I don't eat mangoes. They think it's very un-Malaysian of me to not like mangoes. Well, that's stereotyping for you....)
Meanwhile, as Chinese food became part of our daily ritual, my chopstick using skills improved dramatically (they were a bit rusty due to lack of use) and now I can say that I can pick up a slippery piece of lettuce without the help of a spoon! Hooray!
The whole culinary experience was exciting in its own way. But I think I've had a good enough dosage of Chinese food to last me for the next few months. Right now I'm thinking of some delicious nasi lemak (can't seem to find a place that sells great nasi lemak anymore. Sigh..)

4 comments:

  1. All this talk of food is making me hungry!!

    I recently discovered that I love mangoes... and that they are stupidly hard to get here in Ireland... This is dramatic for me because I mostly hate fruit... epecially apples...

    I think I'm going to have to go and eat something now!

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  2. I mostly fake it with chopsticks. Is that wrong? I mean, at least I get the food in my mouth without too much mess, right?

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  3. I recall having read that word chopsticks are called Kwai Tsz (speedy ones) in Japanese.

    Apart from cantonese, schezuan etc, Chinese cuisine has a new entry - Indian. It has only a glancing aquaintance with authentic Chinese. It's all spiced up with a dash of MSG and stir fry sauce but I like it nevertheless.

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  4. aunty: hehehe... reading about food makes me hungry too!

    travis: I don't think there's any harm in faking with the chopsticks. I do it too, when I get lazy to use it correctly :D

    julia: that's interesting info... :)

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