Monday, December 7, 2009

The Food Story - Mono-Sodium Glutamate And I

I had my first taste of  'bakso' way back in the year 1994.

It was many hours to go before the flight to Singapore take off.
We then decided to try Jakarta airport food that look and sound different.
Hence the bakso.
Since then, I was hooked with the simple yet very refreshing taste.

Naturally when I was in Tanjung Pinang, it's the same dish - Bakso that I ordered.

While observing at how the stall-operator prepare their varieties of food, the man who stood beside me wanted his 'lontong' to be more tasty.

I was taken aback when the stall operator sprinkled a generous amount of food enhancer - mono-sodium glutamate (msg) - on top of the already thick coconut milk rich gravy.
I felt the richness was full in my stomach up to my throat - I felt vomiting.

"Ibu mau lemak seperti itu?"
Twice the seller asked me before I could answer no.

I sat facing the man who enjoyed his food till the last drop.
I did not even touch my bakso.
The sight of heapful raw msg was nauseatic.
I lost my appetite.

The next day while strolling down the street looking for breakfast, the sight of 'mau lemak' and 'lemak lagi' were everywhere.
'Aji No Moto' (msg) looked cheap in Tanjung Pinang but looking closely, it's Made In Malaysia product - Imported goods cannot be cheap in Indonesia.

The whole morning I went without food.
The taste of msg richness was still in me, until the moment I boarded the ferry home that will take me to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
In the ferry, in the open sea, in the strong ocean wave, I vomited out what's in my mind.
What's in my sight.

Upon reaching the main island of Singapore, I felt relieved for at last I can have the real taste of 'Tom Yam Soup'.