Monday, December 26

Pandan sighting!

Frangelico and I were at the Singapore Botanic Gardens this afternoon. Walking around the Orchid Garden, I said to him that I could suddenly smell pandan in the air. That reminded me that I'd tried to describe the fragrance of pandan to you guys by saying that it's what a South East Asian rainforest smells like after the rain. (Part of the grounds of the Botanic Gardens, incidentally, consists of 6 hectares of rainforest. Singapore is home to one of only two urban, city centre rainforests in the world. The other one's in Brazil.) Just as I'd made the pandan remark, I spotted this!

So now I finally know what pandan leaves look like as they're emerging from the ground. I was seriously excited by the find and wanted to share it with you guys. (Yes, I'm a geek. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'd already know that.)

This makes me think that a South East Asian rainforest probably smells of pandan after the rain, because there is a lot of fragrant pandan growing in it... Caught in a circularity trap, I am.

Anyway, here are pictures of some of the stunning rare cultivars in the Orchid Garden. Don't say we only ever talk to y'all about food. :)



Monday, December 5

Brilliant Savarin

I just had to emerge from my silence and share this with everyone. I've been reading a food writing classic, 'The Pleasures of the Table' by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. First published in 1825, it's a collection of writings on all things foodie, and it reads like a series of lectures that a visiting French philosopher might have delivered in Exam Schools in the 19th century. One can only dream...

Anyway, there is much in this book that's humorous and has literally made me laugh out loud (cf. the account given by a lady who is left alone with her husband's friend, one night after everyone had feasted on truffles at dinner). The part I wanted to share, though, is this.

"Are Truffles Indigestible?

It only remains for us to discover whether the truffle is indigestible. 

Our answer will be in the negative. 

This official and final decision is founded:

1. On the nature of the actual subject of our inquiry (the truffle is easy to masticate, weighs very little, and is neither hard nor tough);

2. On our own observations, conducted over more than fifty years, in the course of which we have never seen a single truffle-eater suffering from indigestion;

3. On the evidence of the most famous practitioners in Paris, which is a city of gourmands, and eminently trufflivorous;

4. And lastly, on the daily conduct of the legal fraternity, who, all things being equal, consume more truffles than any other class of citizens; witness, among others, Doctor Malouet, who used to eat enough of them to give an elephant indigestion, but who nevertheless lived to the age of eighty-six."


Sadly, Brillat-Savarin wasn't able to make his inquiry really thorough, by asking the question: does the daily conduct of the legal fraternity give Truffle indigestion? Responses on a postcard. (No prizes for the correct answer.)

If you fancy reading about Madame Name Unknown and Monsieur Verseuil, have a look at page 38 of the book.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...