It's hard work.
Been reading a number of posts on cultural differences. For the record, I’ll share one of mine with food as the main subject. *my all time favorite subject* :)
School days - If the westerners have mac and cheese, my good friend has rice with cheese. After catching him eating that one day, I was compelled to question him on this bizarre eating habit.
Me :: Seriously, it pains me to see you eating that combination.
Friend :: It’s good, really. We have it all the time back home. :) :) :)
Right~ I was finding that hard to believe. Because of that, friends and I rallied together for a cookout every now and then so that these very friends of ours can have decent meals, with complimentary kitchen help from them. *I assumed guys that carry Swiss army knives to be extra good with the knife. Apparently, it was all for show* Figuring out the menu was tedious as we tried to make stuff that was palatable for all. In the end, we couldn’t be bothered anymore, sticking mostly on western, Chinese and Malay fare. But there were times when we indulged our foreign friends with something from their native soil. Although it was not so often because it was hard enough trying to make out the ingredients. *o-hail the search engines, food blogs and food critics* Often the food was shared not just amongst friends, but also to the couples that pakto *date*, school staff and people passing by the carpark. *occasionally we have BBQs at the carpark ... it wasn't allowed but we had our ways of getting by ... a devious bunch we were*
A particular memory is when we fried keropok lekor *Malay crisps made out of fish, a specialty in the Terengganu state*, and my friend had this whacky conversation with the Arabs.
Arab :: This is good. What is it called?
Friend :: It’s keropok lekor.
Arab :: What is it?
Friend :: Uhh … fried processed fish.
Arab :: What fish?
Friend :: Uhh … shark’s fins.
Arab :: Cool!
Later on …
Me :: Shark’s fins?
Friend :: I freaked out. I don’t know what it’s called in English.
Me :: LoL~ Now he thinks we’ve been feeding him with that. We gotta clear up the mess.
Friend :: I don't remember which Arab it was ...
Me :: Oh well, what’s done is done. :)
Friend :: He sure looked happy chomping away. :)
Addendum May 06 09, 4.48pm Malaysian Time
I posted this information under the comments section. This additional information is intended for the readers that may require more information on what keropok lekor really is. Of course one can always rely on Google for the pictures. In its unfried form, it can look unsightly so I'll show mercy to your vision for now. :)
There are 2 versions of keropok lekor; [a] one that looks like a boiled sausage [comes in various lengths/texture/thickness and are often sliced] and [b] that is already dried; sliced thinly. Both needs to be fried and keropok lekor can be taken on its own or with sauce.
Depending on how you slice [a], the type of fish and amount of sago flour and fish paste, it can have various textures i.e. sliced thinly = crunchy, thick = crunchy exterior with a soft interior.
There is no direct translations for keropok lekor in English. Keropok can be translated as crisps/crackers/chips, but it's nothing like the ones found in the west. As for lekor, I have no idea.
And this is on Shark's fins. The Chinese usually have shark's fins taken in soups mixed with crab meat during auspicious occasions i.e. weddings, banquets etc. Due to its high cost and known to be a luxury delicacy, it is also a symbol of wealth and prestige.
~We still use the keropok lekor gag. It’s just too hilarious.
10.00am Malaysian Time