I've been invited to Media Conferences / Food Events / Product Launches a number of times. But for some reasons, I always decline. Until the invite to the Singapore Food Festival 2010 came, I finally yielded. For one, although I've been running a food blog for 3 years now, I still hardly consider myself part of the media. But this particular event caught my interest completely. I simply cannot resist. Singapore holds this annual food festival since 1994. By doing so, indeed, the country lives up to what it is known for, being a steaming pot of gastronomic experiences. And on July 16 to 25, we will all continue to explore, taste and celebrate. This year's theme focuses on "heritage, authenticity, time honored dishes and familial recipes". Rightfully so, the festival will parade the treasures of Singapore Chinese Dialect Foods namely Cantonese, Hakka, Hainanese, Hokkien and TeoChew.
I was more than honored to be introduced to these five distinguished cuisines that shaped the eclectic food fare of Singapore to what it is today, by no less than the culinary "guru" of the country, Makansutra himself Mr. K. F. Seetoh. He walked me through the different food booths and generously shared the cultural significance of these Chinese Dialect Cuisines to the food culture of Singapore. Now and again, I was reminded that "every food does tell a story". Must I emphasize too that it's genuinely good and worthwhile one.
"The original Chinese Flavours that had pervaded Singapore for over a century was coloured largely by the early South Chinese Immigrants. They came, mingled with, and adapted the multi culinary concepts of other migrants from India, SE Asia, the Middle East and even from the West.
They naturally gave to this land their comfort food culture from home and it also gave rise to a third flavour, that distinct and iconic Singapore taste which came from a sophisticated melding of that heady range of flavours found here.
This year's Singapore Food Festival is about celebrating not only the vibrant Chinese dialectic flavours our forebears brought here but also what a newer generation had evolved it to today. " - K.F. Seetoh
On July 25, representative dishes of each of the dialects will be relished in five sumptuous buffets to be stationed in Clarke Quay Read Bridge. This mouthwatering line up of foods will mark the end of the festival. Some of the dishes to be featured are the following:
Century Egg Congee
Hainanese Chicken Rice
Lei Cha Rice
Niang Dou Fu
Fried Hokkien Noodle
TEO CHEW DIALECT
Bak Kut Teh
Undeniably, these foods herald the evolution and depth of the Singapore Food Culture. These are not just timeless food brought by the forefathers of this island. For me, these are secrets to be shared and inherited over and over again.
*Food Shots are official press materials courtesy of the SFF organizers