Monday, December 19, 2011

Why Western and Asian foods taste different

Pickled herring and egg salad with pasta
Food Diary (December 18, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with raisins, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Pickled herring and egg salad with pasta
Dinner: Vegetable and green pea stew

With a Glass just tagged me in “bloggers unplugged” which involves answering personal questions. Here we go:

1. What, or who, inspired you to start a blog?
You and other food bloggers

2. Who is your foodie inspiration?
No one in particular, I get inspiration from different TV programs and blogs

3. Your greasiest, batter-splattered food/drink book is?
I own only one cookbook, nonya flavours: A complete guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine. Which reminds me, I need to cook more recipes from that book. Its relatively unused, there is no batter splattered on it. 

4. Tell us about the best thing you have eaten in another country, where was it, what was it?
I’ll be boring and say that the best thing can sometimes depend more on the circumstances and less on the thing. A simple burger, BBQ, pie or just about any food tastes heavenly after a fantastic night out, or in good company, or both.
If I was to ignore all circumstances and focus only on food I would say foie gras ice cream and French fries, both from different Stockholm restaurants, remains most memorable. I think the fries were made in goose fat.
I should mention nasi lemak and char kway teow from Singapore/Malaysia, bacon and egg pie in NZ…I think we are supposed to name just one dish. 

5. Another food blogger’s table you’d like to eat at?
Depends on the budget, how far will you take me:)

6. What is the one kitchen gadget you would ask Santa for this year (money no object of course)?
I am not falling for this one. I recently realized Santa does not exist. So this year I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands, I am buying myself a hand held blender. The blender will come with either a 30 or 60 day money back guarantee. In case Santa shows up I will return the one that I buy. 

7. Who taught you how to cook?
In no particular order, my mum, grandmother, myself and some friends

8. I’m coming to you for dinner, what is your signature dish?
Are you allergic to anything? Any likes/dislikes?
Jokes aside, I have no signature dish. Depending on the day and mood it can be braised pork, some kind of vegetarian concoction, chocolate or coconut based dessert, pickled herring salad…
Since you like to invite yourself and give me no opportunity to say no, I may include innards, pickled herring and other exotic ingredients in the menu!

9. What is your guilty food pleasure?
Maybe more than reasonable amounts of sweets/desserts, pork (not the lean kind!), caviar (this gives me no guilt, its nutritionally good but financially bad)!

10. Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?
One of my ex-girlfriends was/is a smoker. I asked if she would quit smoking if I stopped my heart beat. I stopped my heart beat and she quit smoking. My heart beat resumed so did her smoking, after some months though (referring to smoking). No one else knows that I have an unusual strategy to encourage smokers to quit, now you know, but you don’t know me:)

Now I need to select bloggers otherwise the fun stops. I understand you may not be able to do this considering it is a busy time of the year. If you cannot complete this mission I totally understand.

Today's Favourite Photo
Grilled Blue Eye Cod Fish with Miso, Pan Fried Spinach Polenta

Today’s Favourite Blog
Why do Western and Asian foods taste different? Experts have found the answer, or more like they have found what most people knew anyway.

381 ingredients, 1021 flavour compounds and 56,498 recipes were analysed and it was found that Western and Asian foods 'pair' flavours in completely different ways. North American and Western European recipes tend to pair flavours that 'match' such as butter and milk. Both Southern European and East Asian recipes tend to avoid pairing ingredients that share flavours. An example is the garlic and sesame oil pairing, these ingredients don't share as many flavour compounds. 

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  1. How could you tell it's a blue eyed cod? :P
    I'm glad you'd got tagged. Those are the funniest answers I've read so far! And my fav is #6 ... hilarious!

  2. Mr. Three-Cookies, thank you for playing the game! Your answers are delightfully funny. I really love your sense of humour. Have I seen "herring" in your signature dish answer? I might invite myself one day for a dinner ;-)
    I still remember the foie gras ice cream and will do everything I can to taste it if I'm one day in Sweden. (By the way I'm marinating now the foie gras terrine for Christmas. Only three-four days more and it will be ready to eat. )
    The difference between Western and Asian food is very interesting. I would never think about it.

  3. I love the Q&A. Thanks for tagging me too. I'll try to find the time to do it too! Have a wonderful holiday!!

  4. Thanks for sharing this Q&A. Sweets/desserts are my guilty pleasure as well. I can never get enough! That pasta sounds incredible, and what a great favorite photo. I absolutely love the presentation. So creative.

  5. Great Q&A, a fun way to get to know you a bit more. What do you mean Santa does not exist?

  6. oh that ice cream you said you had sounds delish~ I love hearing your answers to these questions.I feel like I know you better now!

  7. ping: by looking at the color of the eyes:) Or taking the fishermans' or fish mongers' word for it. We hope they are not color blind!
    Glad you enjoyed reading the responses. Waiting in anticipation to read yours:)

    Sissi: thank you for tagging me, it was fun. You are most welcome to invite yourself.
    Unfortunately that foie gras ice cream was prepared by the restaurant for a special occasion (I think the restaurant was celebrating an anniversary). I haven’t seen it on the menu since which is a pity since I really want to have it again. We just might have to prepare it ourselves. You are lucky to be having foie gras terrine for Christmas, few more days wait. Try adding some chilled sweetened whipped cream to some of the leftover terrine, it may taste a bit like ice cream:)

    Mary: glad you loved it

    Caroline: you are welcome, we’re on the same boat:) said...

    Cheap Ethnic Eatz: glad you enjoyed it. Well about Santa, he’s a nice guy. This year due to lack of snow he is facing transportation issues and hence may not be able to bring your presents

    Kitchen Belleicious: glad you enjoyed it.

  8. Thanks for the tip! I will test it if I have any leftovers ;-)

  9. Now I wonder why, all of a sudden it made me think what contrasting ingredients I used on my Asian cooking. Merry Christmas