Wednesday, Oct 06th, 2010
“HIT + RUN” studio event featuring “EAT + RUN – A Food Texturist Night” is my first event. Thank you Vjeko, my teacher for “hitting” me with this event as soon as I came back from Holland so I can reflect and share and also test out what I have learned in Holland. Also, thank you for to those who were there at the event and those who were in spirit with your support!
Questions that I came up with food and texture:
Can a meal plan/diet plan be planned with textures of the different food in mind?
Can a meal be planned with 10 different textures in mind?
Do animals like/eat their food because of the texture?
While preparing for this event, I found some cool things about food, texture and culture – for example the different words each culture use to describe food. Like the 20 different ways of saying “crispy” food in Japanese to “kusu” in describing the desirable quality of Korean noodles to using 3 different terms to describe bitterness in Malaysian.
The Latin root word for texture means to “to weave” which is also the same root word for textile. If people would who spend hours shopping for the right jacket by touching the fabric/textile of numerous jacket, trying it on in front of the mirror and then ask people for advice, how much time do people spend on thinking about the texture of their food?
Picking 6 food items for people to sample was the last part of the event. Asian food played a big role, my Asian palette played a even bigger role. Going through aisles of Chinese food at a Taiwanese market and picking up potential food items into my basket and then putting them back – walking up and down the aisle like a mad woman examining any items that pop out at me, reading the labels, finding a connection with my event.
Food and texture was the theme, so my favourite texture of rubbery, chewy and sticky food came to mind. Inspirations came from the various items flowing in Asian beverages like coconut jelly to jackfruit to palm seeds to jelly made from Taiwanese jelly figs to water chestnuts to aloe vera.
Discussing the various textures in a group of about 10 people was an amazing experience. Using my personal experience in food and texture as inspiration and encouraging everyone to smell, touch with their lips and fingers, listen to their chewing sound, play around with their tongues.
This is what people had to say about the textures of these food items…
1) Coconut Jelly
“reminds me damper or tampon, something spongy with liquid” (wow!), “old tires”, “plastic”, “it’s name should be bobo”, “chewy undercook pasta”, “a personality that refresh and redefine itself each time”
2) Water Chestnut
“like someone eating an apple”, “clean and crisp”, “crunchy”, “someone walking on dry snow”
3) Aloe vera
“Flesh of uncooked chicken”, “lychee fruit?”, “jelly fish”, “slippery”, “organic fibres”
4) Canned Jackfruit Preserved in Syrup
“old and stringy like overripen fruits/vegetables”, “disappointed that it wasn’t mango because the colour was deceiving”, “taste did not match the smell”, “reminds me of childhood memory and the dessert that my mom made when the weather is sticky and hot in Hong Kong”
5) Palm Seeds Preserved in Syrup
“beach grass”, “tropical sunset”, “onion looking in appearance”, “sugar cane”, “soft bone”, “vertical fibre”, “throwing rocks into the sea”
6) Jelly made from Taiwanese jelly figs
“agar agar”, “cooled chicken stock”, “fatty portion of meat”, “growing bacteria”, “reminds me of drinking sea water and not knowing what it is”, “alien”, “confusing”, “melting jelly bean”, “gelatinous”, “overwhelming taste like my first experience with jasmine tea”
Do you have a favourite texture that you crave sometimes? Is there a particular food item that you like its taste but hates its texture?