Friday, July 19, 2013

Frozen Cassava

Today I went to the Chinese supermarket. Primarily to see what they have on offer, but I guess subconsciously with a hidden agenda of finding ingredients for making Singaporean Laksa. I've had Laksa for the first time a couple of weeks ago at my friend Iben's and absolutely loved it - so much that ever since I have been wanting to cook it myself.

As I was roaming the aisles, unable to find what I was looking for, two simultaneous incidents took place. Neither one of them is particularly funny, entertaining or noteworthy, yet it made me chuckle by the time I left the store.

The first thing that happened is that I found frozen cassava. Immediately I was reminded of last summer, when I spent some time in East Africa. Cassava, similar to sweet potatoes, is one of the most important agricultural crops in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia as it grows well on poor soil and with little rainfall. However, what made my discovery of the frozen cassava such a funny one, was the fact that it was frozen. Frozen cassava - that just really entertains me. While I understand the logistical motivations behind it, I find it funny that people would actually think about freezing it. I mean, with all due respect, it really isn't the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the cassava production line in Africa, is it?

Second incident that left me laughing to myself was when I enquired about a Laksa spice mix and some friend tofu. I kindly asked one of the ladies employed by store if they had the desired ingredients. She looked at me - no blink, no words, face set in stone - before she rushed off. She was quick, I had trouble following her. In less than one minute, she found what I spent looking for 15 minutes prior. She dropped the items in my hands and left - ready to complete the next mission. I yelled a friendly "thank you" after her but I doubt it made a difference.

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