Food – we all love it.
From home cooked meals to fine dining. Speak about food and you will definitely get anyone’ attention.
I’m a Malaysian and we Malaysians love our food! In fact, we greet you by saying, ” Hi, Sudah makan kah belum?” – “Hi, Have you ate, already?”. It’s a simple theory, really. If you have eaten and the reply is Yes, then we know you are well but if it’s a No.. it’s time we ate before we uttered another word!
Growing up in Malaysia gave me a childhood which celebrated an array of cuisines – Indian, Malay, Chinese, Thai and the introduction of the far, far…West.
Most dishes were cooked at home as this was the supreme ruler of the household. No matter what time you came home, food will be served!
Of course, occasionally we ate out at family-style restaurants or kept it simple by visiting our Colonel Kentucky (this was the beginning and end to the western food influence of my childhood) downtown.
Regardless of the cuisine, we made sure we ate together! This is the importance of food and the role it plays in Asian culture. We don’t need a special occasion or festive season to gather around the table to enjoy a nice meal with the family. And, if you are a friend, you need no invitation!
Because it’s about sharing. Sharing a meal with another member of your family and friends. If you have travelled to Malaysia, Singapore, India, China or Japan, you will notice how food is served to the oldest and the youngest persons in the table first before filling their own plate, even at a restaurant. This is what food means to us. Respect and appreciation for the bonds we share amongst people we love and care, regardless of age and gender.
But when it came to food, to us, it was just not about eating. There’s more… something magnificent about the entire experience of dining, whether if you are seated on a table or on the matted floor, on fine china or banana leaves – food always brought people together and to me, it brings back the fondest of memories.
The greatest of cultural diversities and wonders of traditions. What better way than the sound of laughter that fills the air, that could possibly replace this form of happiness. And what better way to convey your identity if not by the simplest contraction known and enjoyed by us from the beginning of time.
I hope you try my recipes and enjoy them as much as I do. So, feel free to join me for a meal and a conversation. We shall speak about food!