Field Note: Food in Singapore

Sat, 03/10/2012 – 8:43am
Abstract: A short blurb about this article (300 characters):
Come learn about the diverse and exciting cuisine of Singapore!

Singapore cuisine reflects, or demonstrates, the ethnic diversity of Singapore. The food is influenced by the native Malay, the predominant Chinese, Indonesian, Indian and Western tradition and cultures since the founding of Singapore by the British in the 19th century. Influences from other areas such as Sri Lanka, Philippines and Middle East exist in local food culture.

Most prepared food bought outside the home is eaten at a hawker center (open-air food court) or a food court (indoor and air-conditioned). These hawker centers are abundant and cheap. People from various cultures are always ready to experiment with the food from different countries.

As Singapore is a small country most land is a scarce devoted to industry and housing area. Most produce and food ingredients are imported from overseas.

What food did I try?: 

I am food lover and I like to eat a variety of food. I am from the country India, which is known as “food paradise”. Since the time I was fourteen years old, my mom has taught me how to cook. In Singapore I cook different types of food like Indian, Chinese, Malay and Western food.

I love to eat the Malay food called Nasi Lemak. Nasi means rice and Lemak means spicy. It is rice steamed with coconut milk and a semi-liquid, spicy mixture of onion, garlic, tomatoes, peanuts and a bit of tamarind and orange sugar (which is available in Singapore and Malaysia). It tastes better with fried tofu.

I also tried local desert called Sago Gula Melaka which is made of sago and jaggery. It was delicious! My mouth has started watering again.

How did I feel when I tried it?: 

As I said earlier I am crazy about different types of food and always ready to try a new recipe. So it was an amazing experience for me to try the delicious Nasi Lemak and the local dessert called Sago Gula Melaka. Nasi Lemak was spicy and made me sweat a little! I managed to soothe my burning tongue with the dessert. According to me you should always try new dishes soNasi Lemak that you find yourself familiar with that if you visit to a new country.

How is the food prepared?: 

The item Nasi Lemak is a union of two different items. Nasi means rice is steamed into coconut milk by adding a small piece of ginger and pandan leaves (local leaf) to add an authentic flavor. The gravy is made of liquid mixture of onion, garlic, tomato, peanuts, tamarind and orange sugar. Little chilli powder and salt to make it spicy. You have to add fried tofu to it. Meat-lovers can add some chicken, and fish into it as supplements.

Gula Melaka is made of mixture of Gula (palm sugar), and sago boiled in coconut milk. It is very yummy!

Is this food connected to the local environment? How?: 

Nasi Lemak is a primarily Muslim dish. Since Malaysia is Singapore’s neighbour, the ingredients can be bought in Malaysia. The large number of Muslims living in Singapore makes it a popular dish in the local food scene, too. Muslims and Indians are known to eat very spicy food and Nasi Lemak is a good example. The large number of coconut trees in the region makes coconut milk a staple ingredient in many dishes of tropical countries.

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