Advancing food science, culinary & agrotechnology | MY • SG
Shakespeare once wrote: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. This timeless phrase, we (loosely, with artistic license!) compare to chocolatiers’ iconic chocolate blocks – lovely, a joy to work with, and so beautifully temperate. After all, the art of tempering chocolate is synonymous with a fine finish. Gloss is not over-rated.
“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There’s shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That – that’s about it.” – Bubba, Forrest Gump, 1994.
Imagine, if you will, a sandwich. What’s in it, you ask? Ham, cheese and eggs, paired with all kinds off crisp, fresh-picked produce. It’s your imaginary sandwich, after all. Pile on the sauces of your choice, and you’re ready to go. But wait – we’re forgetting something.
Imagine, for a second, that plants bore offspring as a result of inter-species marriages. Take an onion and give it dill-weed to take as a wife. Then, marry the result of this union with one formed of celery and anise. As bizarre as this combination sounds, it isn’t, really – because what has just formed is the bulb of the fennel plant.
Growing up, this humble writer’s ideal cup of coffee was a good, thick kopi o’. Think a tar-black concoction, beans roasted to a pitch-black coal with sugar and butter, ground up and steeped from a sock-strainer. They are national favourites, after all – kopi o’ and kopi peng. Many of us will find it difficult to pinpoint the exact time in which the shift in coffee culture began. Some will argue that it came with the franchised Western coffee giants that, it had seemed, blossomed out of thin air overnight.
About a decade ago, plenty of hot fuss was kicked up in the wake of a rather entertaining campaign for dairy products. This campaign, born in sunny California in the United States of America, promoted the concept of happy cows, which in turn gave rise to great dairy produce. Last year, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed their final appeal in a decade-long lawsuit against the California Milk Advisory Board in the Californian Supreme Court. PETA’s beef (no pun intended) with the ads? That Californian cows were, in fact, terribly unhappy as opposed to the widely advertised claim. PETA lost the suit.
Crisp and crunchy or soft and fork-tender; the honeydew is a melon most beloved. In appearance it is humble. Golden yellow or pale green, the melon, when sliced, displays a heartful of tiny seeds. Scrape them away and furnish yourself with a spoon – your melon is ready to be eaten.
Pastry Chefs have long appreciated good quality cream as a vital ingredient in their exquisite creations. There is a delicate science involved in producing cream in its finest form, which gives it the power to enhance recipes. It is bound by strict guidelines, determined by climatic conditions and certainly entails intricate know-how. Recently, a professional workshop was held at the Starhill Culinary Studio to demonstrate the superior quality of European cream. Chef Jean Michel Fraisse conducted a brief theoretical introduction on the cream.
Hazrul Amry Mohd Noor, Corporate Communication and Quality Centre, MARDI.
As one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen, cream is employed in all types of cuisines from all over the world. While it can and often is incorporated in cooking and baking, it is the latter that truly demonstrates its scope. One only needs to consider the myriad of European desserts, which are reknown for its generous use of cream in its various forms. Infused in crème brulee and cakes, as the crème pâtissière in a éclair, profiterole (cream puff) or religieuse, to name a few. However, the secret of French desserts as the pâtissiers will tell you is the quality of the cream. And there is none quite like European cream, which is the cream of choice of all top chefs in the world.