Most of us no longer eat merely for survival but for a variety of reasons: To boost our mood, flaunt social status, connect with others, heal whatever ails us or simply enjoy new experiences. Life’s definitely one big feast!
Words: Alice Yong
Celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar (usually in September), the Mid-Autumn Festival is synonymous with mooncakes – round, sweet cakes comprising a thin layer of baked or chilled pastry filled with lotus or red bean paste, melon seeds and salted egg yolks. Both traditional and inventive variants are now available from major bakeries, hotels and Chinese restaurants in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. We like the variety available at InterContinental Kuala Lumpur. www.intercontinental.com
Rice to the Occasion
A signature dish and a popular favourite on AirAsia’s inflight menu from day one, Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak is a fragrant coconut milk and pandan-infused rice, complemented by tender chicken rendang and a special sambal sauce with crispy fried anchovies and peanuts. Thousands of passengers have chosen this dish to warm their tummies on board, especially those who are returning to Malaysia, as it is a very famous comfort food for Malaysians. So, do remember to pre-order this tempting treat when booking your next AirAsia flight. www.airasia.com
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s hottest pepper is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, which racked up more than 2 million Scoville Units. Originating from a strain of chillies found in the Caribbean island of Trinidad, the fearsome Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is a plump chilli with a slightly bumpy surface and a tiny ‘tail’ shaped like a scorpion’s stinger.
Do You Know?
The Scoville Scale used to measure the amount of capsaicin in peppers was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. He first soaked peppers in alcohol to extract the capsaicin before adding pre-sweetened water to dilute that extract, making it barely tangible on the tongue. The amount of water it took for the dilution process is known as Scoville Units.
Douse the fiery hotness of chilli peppers on your tongue by consuming milk, yoghurt or ice cream. Dairy products contain a chemical called casein that combats the burning effects of chilli peppers. Sugar is another effective remedy to douse the heat. Water simply doesn’t do the trick.
The Guide to Nutrition is a handy primer on the whats, whys and whens of healthy eating. Packed with tips, guidelines and meal plans, registered dietician Nicole Cormier guides readers on a variety of topics such as making the transition from being a vegetarian to a vegan, choosing the right food with the most beneficial vitamins and, the disadvantages of processed food. www.aqpublications.com
“The best thing I’ve eaten in Bali is a sausage and cheese pancake at Flapjacks (Complex Kuta Sidewalk, Jl. Kartika Plaza, tel: (0361) 488838) in Kuta. If you’re a cheese lover, this dish is perfect for you thanks to its savoury combination of sausage and cheese in paper-thin pancake. This cosy restaurant also serves great pasta and home-made gelato.” ~ Cindy Chin, Sales Manager and AirAsia guest
Hail the Kitchen King
Swiss-born Anton Mosimann is the youngest chef ever to be appointed Maitre Chef des Cuisines of The Dorchester in London when he was just 28 years old. The widely respected culinary maestro also helped the hotel earn two Michelin stars – the first ever unprecedented honour bestowed to a restaurant outside of France. Asian gourmands will have a chance to meet Chef Anton at The Club Saujana Resort from September 17 – 22 and The Datai Langkawi form September 24 – 27 to savour his Cuisine Naturelle – a healthy style of cooking that avoids the use of fat and alcohol.
Awfully Chocolate’s decadent cold poached chocolate cake, super stacked chocolate cake and rich chocolate cupcake have captured the hearts of so many chocoholics that branches of the cake shop can now be found in Hong Kong, Taipei, Jakarta, Shanghai, Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Simple yet irresistibly moist, its signature dark chocolate cake adorned with layers of chocolate fudge is to-die-for. www.awfullychocolate.com
Move over macarons! The new trend in snacking at teatime is this delightful treat from Argentina: Alfajores! The cookie is said to have originated from Spain, with Moorish infl uences but is very big in Latin American countries, especially in Argentina. Two cookie rounds sandwiched with dulche de leche or jam, sprinkled with icing sugar and rolled in coconut, make a delightful treat served with hot tea for long, lazy afternoons. Try the recipe at mybakingempire.wordpress.com
Showcasing a mix of popular Italian-style breakfast and lunch items, the Prego Sunday Bubbalicious Brunch at The Westin Kuala Lumpur promises a mouth-watering adventure with new and innovative bubble-inspired dishes. Guests will be able to enjoy traditional Italian dishes and old Prego classics, as well as a modern take on Italian cuisine, inspired by bubbles and good times. www.westindining.com.my