Interviewing the Rice Culture

 

One of my earliest memories of food was of my mother cooking a Taiwanese traditional dish called ‘Lou Rou Fan’, (more commonly known as the Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice) in our little apartment, when we were living in Taiwan. It is still today at the top of my list of best food memories, and I am still seeking the same taste throughout all the Taiwanese restaurants here in Sydney. However, none of them resembles the taste that this exceptional dish left in my memory. As a proud Hong Kongese, my mother always pushed me into cooking more of the traditional Cantonese dishes such as ‘Char Sui’ or classic dumplings. I never was as good as her, even when preparing simple side dishes such as rice.

“Rice ! How can you fail rice?!” – was the reaction my mother had to my numerous failed attempts of cooking rice, turning it to ‘congee’ by pouring too much water. Compared to my mother who started cooking and using the family’s rice cooker from the age of 9, to help my grandmother in household chores, I felt like a failure. The rice cooker occupies a dominant spot in an asian household, “It’s cultural! It’s the basic food stalk, it’s like eating baguette with your food in France” my mother explained.

“I have never cooked rice without the help of a rice cooker, and it keeps the rice nice and warm long after being cooked” my mother stated. Revolutionising the 50s, and improved in the 70s, the rice cooker bettered the life of millions of people. “Nowadays, you can even cook your entire meal with the help of your rice cooker, and the best thing is you don’t have to check if you have burned it!” my mother explained while listing the many features the machine has (such as the timer). There are now so many ways to cook using the device, and the food is cooked in a healthier way thanks to the steam technology.

Other ways to use your rice cooker : 14 Things Besides Rice You Can Make With a Rice Cooker.

 

About the future, my mother stayed critical about the subject. “I believe that if there’s changes to it, it would only be incremental and benign” she stated. She only had one rice cooker, given as a wedding gift, although can be called vintage or even ancient (same rice cooker as the one on the image next to the title) it is still completely operational.  However, she believes that thanks to the increase of technology and communication, we will be able to share and increment the culture of rice in households around the world.

More information about the history of Rice Cookers here RICE COOKER HISTORY, FEATURES, FUTURES, and MORE.

 


 

Remember Singapore. (2014). [image] Available at: https://remembersingapore.org/2014/12/13/singapore-vintage-advertisement-posters/ [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].

Off the Great Wall (2015). 14 Things Besides Rice You Can Make With a Rice Cooker. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3GlthLTN5s [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].

Tofugu.com. (2015). RICE COOKER HISTORY, FEATURES, FUTURES, and MORE. [online] Available at: https://www.tofugu.com/japan/rice-cooker-history/ [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].

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