Plebeian palate

I’ve been following (or trying to) Colin Goh‘s columns in The Sunday Times (Singapore), but it’s not quite a weekly thing so it’s a little annoying to search the paper every week for something that may or may not be there. Luckily, I’ve discovered that his columns can also be read off his blog, so no more hunting for me.

Recently I read Call Me an Alley-Cat Foodie, in which he lamented his relatively low-class palate, something I rather identified with since I also have the palate of a peasant and often consider some of my country’s street food to be the finest cuisine in the land. Even more recently, I came across a comment on a food blog that led me to think of the article again.

…Perhaps the Hokkiens do not place as much emphasis on food as they do on work or finance as you allude to. I think it is the same between the French and the English.

I myself am Hokkien (though my mum’s Teochew and that should have influenced my early food exposure somewhat), and a lot of my favourite eats are essentially the restaurants my dad enjoyed patronising – relatively low-end family (usually Chinese) restaurants. Long story short, I wonder if there is indeed a genetic (hmm) or cultural (more likely) reason that contributes to the plebeian palate?

I don’t know if Colin is Hokkien or not, and I believe that one’s family (and the food that one grows up eating) will definitely affect one’s palate. I’m really curious though, if there are general trends that can be found across the different dialect groups, at least in Singapore?


Posted on October 16, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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