Among the aspects that define a culture is food. Even with the adopting of modern foods, the cultural foods play a big role in defining a certain culture. Despite Singapore’s small size, the country enjoys one of the strongest cultures of food. May be its small size has contributed to the harmonisations of the different foods, to create a uniform food culture.
While many countries are adapting the modern foods, Singapore Cultural Foods are still intact. The many food festivals that the country holds are among the factors that has enabled this maintenance of culture. Even in the festivals, most of the Singapore’s delicacies will have part of the cultural foods. In addition, the hotel menus will always include either none or the combination of these foods. The foods are the following:
Most of the seafood delicacies come from this region. Since ancient times, Sea animals and weeds have played a big role in the diets of the residents. Historically, the medicine men would source their herbs from the sea for treating various diseases. It was also a common belief that the sea animals had curing capabilities, which made their consumption popular from generation to generation.
Overtime, the speculations proved true as scientists confirmed the nutritional aspects of seafood. With that, Singapore residents started creating menus for meals such as oysters, fishy sambals and many other sea-life delicacies. Even in the modern world, most of the delicacies from this region have revolved around new seaweeds or animals.
With the country having a mix up of ethnic groups, wheat was a harmoniser between the cultures. In an effort to get maximum results from wheat, noodles replaced the ancient breads. In the modern context, this regions leads in production and consumption of noodles. Being among the Cultural Foods, noodles form a basis for many delicacies, especially in the food festivals.
Since their inventions, spices and herbs have become part of noodle delicacies. With most of the herbs coming from the sea, noodles combine the aspect of seafood and it is common to have recipes combining both of this.
With the country being among the rice producers, rice has been a cultural delicacy for many years. It is no wonder why most of the rice recipes come from this region. In most hotels, lunch dishes will involve some rice combined with some a protein compliment. As it is the custom, spicing and favouring are among the developments for rice, to make it more convenient for the modern population.
The Durian fruit is an important dessert food for rice diets. Recently, the chefs have included Dreamlike porridge made from rice, in an effort to optimize rice consumption, and maintain the culture.
The Bak Kut Teh is among the most common soups native to Singapore. It is soup derived from boiling the ribs of pork and served with all the above foods. Due to the high levels of fats in the soup, it is usually high in pepper and garlic to alter the taste. Garlic is the main spice used in most of the soups, due to taste and maybe the nutritional benefits.
The old coffee culture of Singapore comes from these coffee shops (KopiTiam). Most of them will include a café for breakfast and a bar for evening gatherings. In addition to the coffee, it is from these joints that you get to feel the cultural Kaya toast, which is a blend of ancient and modern Singapore cultures. The original tastes of these tastes are exclusive to this region, with more tastes coming up with each new food festival.