Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why Travel Tuesday: You Like Satay?

Every Tuesday, I will be featuring a photograph from a place I have gone to, a photograph which I believe will inspire others to go out and see the world for themselves. For this week, Why Travel Tuesday features the beloved southeast Asian dish—Satay.

You Like Satay

If there was one thing I was looking forward to before coming to Singapore, more than the sites and tourist attractions really, is the food. Singapore is where Malay, Chinese and Indian food all melt into one delicious cuisine distinctly Singaporean. Satay, or various grilled meats on a stick, comes from Singapore’s Malay inhabitants. It was one of the things my hosts wanted me to taste on my first real night out here. So I dipped the stick on the peanut-curry sauce and had my first bite.

I can’t say I liked it immediately. It was definitely different from the various meats on a stick we have back home in the Philippines. I thought it was missing something: an acidic component. That’s when I understood where I was coming from. Not that the satay was bad. It was tasty. It’s just that I was coming from a cuisine that more often than not uses some sort of souring agent as an ingredient—vinegar, calamansi (sweet lime), etc. Heck, the de facto Filipino national dish, adobo, uses vinegar as its main ingredient. Without it, it’s not adobo. So yes, the Satay was good, very good. Still, I think it would be better dipped in vinegar with onions and garlic. But that's just me. I'm thinking I have a long way to go before I fully appreciate foreign foods altogether. Hey, all this tasty exposure can only be good, right?

Have you had satay? What were your first impressions on it? How do you usually approach foreign food?

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