Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Green Tea Mania

I am not a Japanese and neither a big fan of the Japanese culture, but still, I can't explain my love for food products with green tea flavour. If given a choice of flavours, I will pounce on the ones with green tea flavour no doubt.

I appreciate that subtle bitterness in green tea and especially so in food products. You need to be very sensitive, in this case your tastebuds, to detect that subtle green tea taste that has blended into the taste of the food products. It shouldn't be over-bearing as green tea itself will never be and it shouldn't be so weak that all the taste of green tea is lost. It should leave just enough traces of its presence, definitely not in an evident manner. This is the beauty of sublety.

I often wonder, of all the types of tea that you can find, why do the Japanese fell madly in love with green tea only. And they make no secret of their green tea mania. Consequently, they managed to green-tea-nize every food product that they can lay their hands on. Even table salts and kit kat with green tea flavour.

It's interesting to know that one man's meat may be another man's poison. I understand that the colour of green in food products may not appear as appealing to me as to people of the West because of the negative association of the colour. To me, green looks soothing. YR once treated his French colleagues to our local speciality: pandan cakes (sponge cakes with the flavour of pandan leaves which is a type of tropical plant). His colleagues stared at the greenish-looking cake suspiciously and commented that the cake looked as if it has been poisoned. I was bemused. They must have run for their lives if they were ever offered a pot of green tea ice cream, I suppose. But then again, what about the chocolates that Europeans raved about? The colour could easily resemble closely to that substance in our bodies that we.....but then again, you will never associate chocolates with that, will you?