You are what you eat & drink

Gourmet Cooking With 23thorns

This is reposted from a blog 23thorns

After reading what I have reposted you may/may not like to go and read the rest.

Gourmet Cooking With 23thorns

I must confess to being a little taken aback. In my last post, I mentioned two minute noodles. Without any explanation. Sorry.

I try to be careful about this. If I am using words or concepts that I know are uniquely South African, I try my best to translate or explain. If that’s too tricky, I just avoid them.

This is why you will never read my absolutely fantastic post about the time I took 2kg of kudu biltong to a friend’s braai by mistake. He had asked me to bring the wors, and thinking he meant droewors, I decided to go for biltong instead. He actually meant boerewors. It was hilarious. We still laugh about it today. Luckily his wife had made enough sosaties to sink a battleship, and there was pap, so the braai turned out OK.

For those of you not from here, that was all in perfectly acceptable English, all found in English dictionaries and none of it slang. We just, like most countries, have some things that are uniquely ours. I did not think that two minute noodles were one of those things. Apparently they are.

And so, in the interests of educating the world, I’m going to tell you about two minute noodles. I’m even going to teach you how to cook them. Who knows, if that goes well, I may even teach you how to braai a sosatie! Yes, good people, you are seeing the first and very probably last in a series of posts I will call “Gourmet Cooking with 23thorns”!

Two minute noodles are the go-to food for the unwashed masses. And children of all classes. The unwashed masses like them because they cost four Rand a packet. That’s about fifty US cents. Students live on them, and if, like me, you become alarmed about where all your money has gone about two thirds of the way through the month, you can survive on them until payday. Children like them because they aren’t very good for you.

The gold standard for two minute noodles is a brand called Maggi’s Two Minute Noodles.

Beef flavour. It's like eating a steak with a quarter of the cholestrol and four times the melamine.

Beef flavour. It’s like eating a steak with a quarter of the cholestrol and four times the melamine.

These are the Rolls Royce of two minute noodles. The benchmark. All two minute noodles consist of a dried out cake of stringy Chinese noodles. That’s standard. But there’s also a sachet of flavouring, and that’s what sets Maggi’s apart. It’s got monosodium glutamate in it, just like a five star Chinese restaurant! But that’s not all. It also has; E621, E627 & E631 (flavour enhancers), E330 (an acidity regulator), E501, E466, E466, E339, & E500 (stabilisers, making Maggi’s one of the most stable foods on the market!), and E150 & E101 (colourants. Yes, someone has worked very hard to achieve a washed out grey colour!)

But that’s not all! That little sachet has been irradiated. Irradiated! Truly, this is a meal for the nuclear age! You won’t find that sort of thing at some crappy organic market! Not unless the hippies have somehow built themselves a backyard reactor.

Are you salivating yet?

Are you salivating yet?

My favourite, though, is a brand called Mewo. Because with Mewo, you get three sachets!

Not a vegetable. No matter what the packaging says.

Not a vegetable. No matter what the packaging says.

There’s the standard bag of flavouring, with all its little numbers, but that’s not all! There’s a bag of oil too! Unless it’s a little older. Then it’s a bag of rancid butter. And there’s even a bag of vegetables!

So much more bang for your buck. And if you don't use all of the oil, it makes a great moisturiser.

So much more bang for your buck. And if you don’t use all of the oil, it makes a great moisturiser.

Or so they say. I suspect it’s a bag of those children’s toys that you throw into water that expand to 400% of their original size.

Fresh from the good earth. In Nanking. Two years ago.

Fresh from the good earth. In Nanking. Two years ago.

Mewo is always a bit of a gamble though. It can be dangerously unstable, and the acidity is completely unregulated.

Enough boring details. Let’s get cooking. First of all, ignore the instructions on the packet. They may make good noodles, but these people are philistines! They will tell you to bring a pot of water to boil, throw in the cake of dried noodles, add the sachets, and boil for two minutes. Have you ever? That’s not how you treat fine food!

Now, you can hop across and see what other pearls of culinary wisdom he shares with us.

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