The Sweet Escape

Malaysia faces the current shortage of rice in the world market. Being only 70% self-sufficient in this staple, it may be prudent to look at other sources of carbohydrate. One promising source is sweet potato, which can be more nutritious than white rice in having more vitamins (especially A, C and E) and certain minerals (Ca, Mg, K and Cu), as well as high dietary fibre. Many of these vitamins and nutrients, as well as its low glycaemic index, bring a lot of health-benefits to those who eat sweet potato.

Wholesome Durians

The strength of a nation’s export does not rest solely upon the quality of a product, though that is of much importance – it is the irrefutable truth that proper governmental support and a nudge in the right direction by the appropriate bodies is of equal importance.

Chocolate. The mere mention of it awakens the desire to have a piece melting in the mouth, allowing it to coat the tongue as a smile of satisfaction says it all. Such wonderful experiences from a tiny cocoa bean!

Palm oil is versatile. There is no disputing the fact. About 90% of the world’s palm oil production is used as food. The physio-chemical properties of palm oil and its fractions are readily adaptable as versatile components in most of today’s fat-based food formulations required by the food industry. As such, it has been mandated that the nutritional properties of palm oil, as well as its fractions, be adequately demonstrated. The result? A truly malleable product which is in so many words, a treasure.

Penang has firmly staked its place in the global food map, attracting hundreds of thousands of arrivals hungry for a taste of the state’s multitudinous and distinctive cuisines. Penang delicacies are trending, with the potential to reach the ubiquity of international fare the likes of Japanese and Thai. For that to happen, the momentum needs to be maintained in continuing to promote local dishes, educate people about local flavours, and share local ingredients.

Sarawak Market Up Close

An early Sarawak market visit with chef from Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Kuching.

The Malaysian Red Chilies

The Malaysian cuisine is unique due to the combination of exotic spices and local ingredients used, this is especially true when it comes to Malay and Indian cuisines where fresh red chilies are a pivotal ingredient in forming the fundamental taste profiles.

Taming The Wild Mushroom

Appreciating wild and exotic type mushrooms is an age-old gastronomical tradition in Europe, where dozens of varieties have been made available to the consumers; people know precisely what they are looking for. In the land of continental cooking, culinary connoisseurs prize mushrooms based on their rarity and chefs love pairing mushrooms to foods according to their characteristic flavour. In Malaysia, over the past ten years or so, we have seen different types of mushroom being cultivated by commercially by different experts. However, the oyster mushroom, with a long standing-history of being part of the Malaysian cuisine, is a widely grown variety in the country.

Standing against the vast greenness of the glowing rice fields knowing that in a couple of months they will magically turn into sun-kissed fields of gold, one cannot help but to marvel at the magnitude of the beauty. Marvel turns into appreciation when one realizes that on these immense fields lay the starting point for the grains that may eventually land on our plates.

Rice is rich in complex carbohydrate. The word carbohydrate itself is blasphemous to most diet enthusiasts. Is this a misconception? Carbohydrate supplies energy to fuel the body’s physical demands. What most people do not understand is the differences in rice and how these differences work for the body. There are many different types of rice that are available in the market such as the ever common white rice, brown rice, red rice, black rice, parboiled rice, aged rice, glutinous rice, basmati etc.

Agriculture is not static. It is a process that unfolds over time and interlaces with both the ecosystem it is based and the society it is located. Social, cultural, political, and economic forces can have enduring effects. To be truly sustainable and adaptable to changes, the field must be capable of continually evolving while preserving the human and natural resources that it draws from. In Malaysia, the entire food chain from producers down to consumers has come together to chart the future of agriculture here. These are the emerging developments to keep an eye on.

Deer In Heart of Malaysia

Tucked away behind a school is the last place one would think to find a deer farm. But at Felda Bukit Mendi Triang in the depths of Pahang, such a unique sight can be found. This deer farm at Elias Agro Farm Sdn. Bhd. is where the deer breeding project ‘Projek Ternakan Rusa Timorensis’ is carried out. The primary product of the farm is smoked deer meat (daging salai). The deer which are bred at the farm are of the Timorensis breed which are flown in all the way from Australia where they are commonly found. The farm started out with a small herd of 30 deer and has been constantly increasing their numbers through breeding as well as by bringing in more from Australia. As of June 2015 the herd is numbered at 100 deer but this will likely change soon once the farm and its facilities undergo a long awaited expansion.

The Wild Honey Sojourn

When it comes to wild honey, it's easy to underestimate the Tualang honey. It doesn’t have the highly priced value of a monofloric Acacia or the immaculate whiteness of the clover or the stellar golden colour of a Hawaiian Lehua Gold. Unlike the Manuka, it lacks a strong backup of marketing and promotion. Most famous honeys are named after the sources of flowers from which they are collected. As for the Tualang honey? It’s named after the bees’ nesting location.

Going Local All The Way

Imagine a narrow cobblestone alleyway bustling with life. Street vendors selling fresh, vibrantly-hued local produce at every corner. Haggling housewives amongst fishmongers and grocers, having a good laugh, sharing recipes, tossing bright red tomatoes into rattan-woven shopping baskets. In an ideal world, so charming a scene would be commonplace. The need for brightly-lit, air-conditioned hypermarts decimated, such local farmers’ markets would then surely thrive. That is, however, strictly-speaking in an ideal world. Hypermarkets are, in reality, a necessity. Yet there is no disputing the benefits of buying and eating locally.

What Makes Chocolate Healthy

Chocolate is a mixture of cocoa paste, cocoa butter, sugar and milk, which is optional. It is one of the most popular foods in the world, long enjoyed for its wonderful taste. It was first created over two thousand years ago in beverage form. Then, it was believed to provide nourishment for the body and was used for many medicinal purposes for centuries. Today, a number of scientific studies have shown the values and nutritional health benefits of chocolate. It is a fun and delicious food, and can easily be incorporated into any healthy, active lifestyle.

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