Published: Wednesday July 25, 2012 MYT 11:32:00 AM
M’sia seafood curry laksa one of 10 foods ‘to try before you die’
NEW YORK: Your average American might never have heard of it, but Malaysia's seafood curry laksa ranks among one of the 'top 10 foods to try, before you die,' according to the U.S. based newspaper Huffington Post.
This list of the world's most mouth-watering dishes was recently released by the newspaper.
Though the seafood curry laksa is still a rarity in many Asian restaurants, barring those that specialise in serving Malaysian or Singaporean cuisine, the newspaper seems to have done a thorough job investigating the finer attributes of a dish that remains a hot favourite, at least, amongst Asian food-lovers frequenting Malaysian restaurants on the east coast.
Whether the list will help popularise the Malaysian seafood curry laksa amongst local food connoisseurs, however still remains to be seen.
Still the dish will certainly complement and strengthen efforts made by the New York office of the Malaysian External Trade Development Corp (Matrade), which had recently launched the Malaysian Kitchen Programme in its third consecutive year.
The event was earlier flanked by a Malaysian Restaurant Week whose objective was to popularise Malaysian cuisine by promoting exports of Malaysian ingredients, spices and food products to the United States.
Interestingly, the list compiled by the Huffington Post also contains nine other equally mouth-watering international foods.
Masala Dosa, the popular Indian crepe-like pancake with a filling made of potatoes, lentils and spices is also widely available in many restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
This dish has been amongst the favourites for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian consumers of the United States.
"The plate-covering, paper-thin pancake is made from rice and lentils, cooked to lacy perfection on a hot griddle. What creates the more-ish flavor is a spiced concoction of mashed cooked potatoes and fried onions, served with a liberal dose of garlicky chutney," is how the website was reported to have described the masala dosa.
Malaysian food exporters could emulate the trend set by other countries such as Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, which have identified a growing propensity towards vegetarianism in the United States.
Such a trend, according to many experts, could possibly affect meat consumption in the United States over the long run.
There seems to be a certain stigma attached to meat consumption in the United States, particularly in big cities such as New York.
Some Americans even get offended at the notion of killing an animal to satisfy their hunger.
"I feel guilty looking at a cooked, dead animal or bird served to me with salads and bread on a plate. I have asked myself why a poor animal or bird has to die to satisfy my hunger," June Kupferschmidt, a recent vegetarian-convert told Bernama.
She added her perception about food changed after visiting India.
Malaysian food suppliers, who export a variety of vegetarian food products to the United States, ought to take a cue from such comments.
Each market has its own idiosyncrasies. Halal food products, which were pioneered by Malaysia from the very beginning, could be an instant hit in markets of the Middle East with their large Muslim populations.
But such products can be sold only in specific ethnic supermarkets in the United States as opposed to being sold in mainstream American supermarkets.
Malaysian food exporters would do well to sensitise themselves on such nuances of demand.
Other food products on the Huffington Post's list include the Peking duck from China, BBQ ribs from the United States and teppanyaki from Japan.
The list also includes France's escargots, which are actually snails served in shells and cooked in a delicious melange of garlicky parsley butter, before being served as appetisers.
Moussaka which finds a mention on the list is described as the Greek answer to the Italian lasagne.
"The dish is made by smothering layers of ingredients in a cheese bechamel sauce, and baking until creamily melted and golden," the website describes.
Other foods on the list are Zucchini flowers from Italy, Thai dish Som tam or green papaya salad and Pavlova from Australia-New Zealand.
The Huffington Post describes food as a good way to make friends with strangers in the country.
"Sampling the local cuisine can help you make friends, understand the history, politics or religion of the place you're visiting, and provide a lasting memory of your trip.
Food and travel go hand in hand, and there's no better way to delve deep into a destination than to try its most famous dishes," said the Huffington Post. - Bernama