THE KING GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

THE KING GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

This is one that I’ve resisted writing for a while, and with good reason. There is no middle ground on this – either you love it or hate it. And it’s not something that can be genetically imparted; parents who love it do not guarantee their offspring will too. In fact nowadays, often the children won’t go near it, let alone touch it. But very recently, the king made it’s way, via celebrity hand-delivery no less, to Hollywood!   Actress Jessica Chastain, who plays Sara the Warrior on The Huntsman: Winter’s War, brought a whole durian with her on The Jimmy Kimmel Live! show. She also brought a huge knife, a shorter serrated one, and rubber gloves. Ok, I felt the rubber gloves were over the top, but what’s Hollywood without a touch too much drama, right?   You can watch the by now widely circulated video clip on YouTube. But in short, when Chastain pulls the durian out of the bag, Jimmy Kimmel stares at it like he’s looking at a maliciously spiky weapon, and exclaims “Oh wow, what is that?” Well, he is meeting the king for the first time, afterall. Chastain tells Kimmel it’s durian, the “king of fruit in Asia”, and later she calls it the “blue cheese of fruit”.   She tells Kimmel that she fell in love with durian while in Singapore, and tried to describe the taste to him as “onions and garlic, and avocado and pineapple in a custard”. She shoves a piece of durian in Kimmel’s mouth and to his credit, he doesn’t immediately spit it back out. He actually...
GUAVA – THE NECTAR OF MY HOLIDAYS

GUAVA – THE NECTAR OF MY HOLIDAYS

I love being on holiday. Who doesn’t, right? Waking up each morning carefree, just letting what adventures or chilling the day has in store find you, instead of “chasing-after-it” from 9am to whatever-pm. Easy strolling to the breakfast buffet spread to enjoy the first meal of the day. I’m usually not a big eater at breakfast, more a sampler, but I really enjoy those hits of chilled, fresh juice. And of all the juices typically available, my favourite is the sweet nectar of a pink guava. I simply love it: reminds me of holiday breakfast mornings. And it’s even better on a cruise.   Come to think of it, what a great way to start the day with fresh, chilled pink guava juice, wouldn’t you agree? From the moment the sweetness touches your tongue and glides down your throat, it immediately gives you a pick-up. And for me, it’s one of the best chasers for that morning coffee, as well as to wash breakfast down with.   There’s good reason too that guava juice gives such a great pick-up, besides its wonderfully rich sweetness (ie. think energy that becomes in your body) – guava contains eight times more vitamin C than an orange, and up to 30 times more than a watermelon. In guava’s case, less is certainly a lot more!   Vitamin C is a super nutrient. Not only is it essential for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of our bodies, it boosts our immune system against low-level ailments like colds and flus, and acts like a supreme antioxidant protecting us against harmful free...
THE PLUM ON JACK’S THUMB

THE PLUM ON JACK’S THUMB

Hollywood has been retelling a few children’s stories and fairy tales. Writers and their studios have given these much-loved fables a contemporary update, and in the modernising have injected adult-appropriate drama and darker themes in their storytelling. I suppose that makes them more marketable to present audiences. Disney’s Maleficient (2014) is based on Sleeping Beauty, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and Warriors Of Witchcraft (both 2013) make the original gingerbread cottage look like a lame and too-sweet dessert, and it’s Snow White And The Huntsman (2012) instead of my childhood’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves harmonising “Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho…” This year’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War, a Snow White spin-off, doesn’t even reference poor Snowy, her plot’s become irrelevant. Would I watch it? Yes, it should be exciting!   Frankly, I wasn’t thinking of movies at first. I was thinking of plums. And that’s because here at Sofresh, we deliver a lot of plums to our clients, especially the cruise ships. They consume a lot of plums on their voyages, and so always order a lot of the fruit from us. And plums made me recollect a childhood rhyme, the one that goes: Little Jack Horner, Sat in the corner, Eating a Christmas pie; He put in his thumb, And pulled out a plum, And said “What a good boy am I!” And this rhyme was strange enough to make me think of those movies I mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Odd, circular thinking, I know.   I’d always wondered what that strange rhyme meant. Earliest references to it date to 1725 in England as a ballad by a Henry...
NOT SOUR NOR A SOP, SIMPLY DELICIOUS!

NOT SOUR NOR A SOP, SIMPLY DELICIOUS!

I have fond memories of the Taman Serasi Food Centre. It’s long gone, demolished years ago in the name of urban development, and possibly modern food hygiene standards, I’d not be surprised. It used to be opposite the Singapore Botanic Gardens, across the road from where the garden’s grand gates now stand at the junction of Napier Road and Cluny Road. My mind recalls it as a small, cozy food centre with wonderful Malay fare and a drink stall that sold simply fantastic soursop juice.   Soursop – a.k.a. graviola, custard apple, brazilian paw paw, cherimoya and guanabana – isn’t sour at all, at least not to me. I love it for its sweet taste and the soft-chewy texture of its white flesh. On a warm day, like so many of Singapore’s days are, very few things can refresh and quench a thirst like a big mug of icy-cold soursop juice. And after you’ve drank all that delicious nectar, to then spoon up from the bottom of the mug and eat the soft sweet flesh of the soursop is just sublime.   For some time now, there’s been a fair bit of discussion on soursop being an alternative treatment for cancer due to it’s so-claimed powerful cancer-fighting abilities. Some have called the soursop a cancer stopper, attributing it to be up to 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy at killing cancer cells, and even having the ability to selectively target and destroy certain types of cancer cells while leaving normal healthy cells alone. Others have alluded to stories of the natives of the Amazon who have consumed the leaves...