Monday, August 30, 2010

Our impoverished taste buds...

Isn't it amazing that despite all the tastes our taste bud could experience, we limit ourselves to just a few?

Consider a trip to a fast food joint. You'll be assailed with just 3 types of taste : salty, sweet and fats. Lots of salt in your fries, burger patty; teaspoons of sugar in your soft drink; blobs of fat in your burger/salad dressing...

It's understandable. Inferior ingredients are usually masked with strong flavours and by making it savoury, you'll "think" it tastes "good".

Now in M'sia, the same observation applies to hawker food. Out of 10th stalls I sample, 9 would be guilty of too much salt in the servings. The tenth, unfortunately, suffers from poor business! It seems to me that this is what the public wants.

Many a times, we are recommended to check out some great restaurants. Again, we usually find their cooking to use too much salt. And these restaurants are highly recommended! Also, have seen those foodie shows on TV where the reviewer comments "the food is salty enough". Arghhhhhhh!

So what is this fascination with salty food? Seems like it is a requisite for "good taste".

I long for the fresh taste of a choy sum stalk, the inherent sweetness of a carrot, the subtle nuances of herbs. With quality ingredients, just a dash of seasoning is all you need. A dash of pepper, a sprinkling of sea salt, few leaves of rosemary, few drops of mustard..

Is this too much to ask for?
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