How will China, a nation with 22% of the world’s population but with only 9% of the world’s arable land, continue to feed her people?
Little red taxis — they were everywhere. Blowing their horns. Weaving in and out of the traffic. Scaring me. And the bikes! Wherever I looked, little red taxis and bikes — my first and lasting impression of Beijing in 1995. And people! People all around me — people, people, people. All busy going somewhere. Doing something. Eating. Walking. Cycling. Eating. Did I say eating? Oh and can the Chinese eat! They do love their food.
Does eating a special diet mean that you have to take your kitchen with you in a cabin bag? It is time for people with specific food requirements to stand up and be counted.
Recently, I took a luxury cruise where I spent almost every day going hungry, and later, a cooking class where I ate like a prince and learnt something about being on a special diet while travelling.
One of the oldest and richest cuisines in the world has now become blah, thanks to the lingo police.
Alright, hands up, those of you who know what a pullet is. Good if you do. Otherwise China’s new state-mandated menu, meant to make your life easier, will now have you scratching your heads in utter confusion.
Meet the spice that is queen of the kitchen and the bedroom.
Why is cardamom called the Queen of the Spices? Maybe it is its association with queens. The large leaved plant with purple and white flowers had a place in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The terraced garden was built by King Nebuchadnezzar for his wife who was homesick. Cleoptara burnt cardamom incense whenever Mark Antony visited. The Arabian Nights makes frequent reference to cardamom’s use as an aphrodisiac.
Napoleon famously said that quantity has a quality of its own. Tell that to Filipino fast-food king, Tony Tan Caktiong.