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...
A POTATO TO SAVE YOUR DAY

A POTATO TO SAVE YOUR DAY

I remember exciting school days donning my team jersey and representing my school in competitions. On competition day, usually a weekday afternoon, none of us school team members could pay attention to our teachers in class. We’d all be eagerly awaiting only one thing: early release from class, so we could have our pre-match meal before the rest of the school had recess. The excuse was we needed to eat a certain number of hours before the competition to allow for proper digestion to boost performance. In truth, those early meals made us feel special, because in our school-age minds we believed we’d earned the right to them by being selected for the team. Young and cocky we were, then.   Those pre-match meals were unguided, unscientific carbo-loading sessions based on each other’s “good ideas”, consisting bananas (though you could only eat so many), bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes which we could really pig-out on. Occasionally a teammate would go overboard and instead of getting a lasting energy boost, he’d be bloated, sluggish and sometimes throw it all up. Those were the guys the rest of us were careful not to stand close to on the pitch.   It’s funny but somewhat fitting that years on, when I bump into old teammates, those same guys who used to puke potatoes (and whatever else they’d eaten as their pre-match meal) are now not only much larger in girth, they’re still puking although it’s not during the heat of competition, but after a night out partying and drinking. I guess those old buddies are the real athletes, they still have the...
IF YOU LIKE PINA COLADAS (A PINEAPPLE STORY)

IF YOU LIKE PINA COLADAS (A PINEAPPLE STORY)

If you like pina colada… The tune of that smooth song by Rupert Holmes (1979) always puts me in a relaxed, easy-going mood. Listening to that song and thinking of sipping a cool, sweet pina colada, you’ve also got to imagine the correct ambience for it. Afterall, it’s not like a beer which can be gulped down anywhere. No, to really enjoy a pina colada, it’s important for the setting to be right, that’s just the kind of drink it is. Onboard a cruise ship, in the privacy of your suite’s balcony, or with friends on the breezy deck as the sun hangs low in the horizon, something like that perhaps.   It was also on my mind: can a pina colada work without pineapples? The reason I pondered this was because throughout the current cruise season, here at Sofresh we’ve been supplying tons of pineapples to our cruise ship clients. Well, my research informs me that pineapples are a key ingredient in making a perfect pina colada, from the pineapple juice needed to the pineapple wedge on the rim of the glass.   So the answer is no, a pina colada just cannot work without pineapples. And thus our cruise ship clients will keep ordering massive amounts of pineapple from us each season. Or course it’s not all for pina coladas onboard, although I’m sure there’ll be a lot of those served. Pineapples are versatile and can be juiced, added to salads, cooked, made into desserts and so on, all of which to keep the many passengers onboard happily and healthily fed.   And healthy pineapples are indeed....