In his classic song Me lost me cookie at the disco, the Cookie Monster sings not only about the physical loss of a cookie, but also about how his love of cookies actually drives him up the wall. He’s bemoaning an obsession that has literally taken over his entire life, one he has to know is unhealthy, but is nevertheless powerless to stop. Although I can’t claim to have the same level as expertise as the Cookie Monster, I think I understand him.
I’ve been feeling alot like the cookie monster ever since I arrived in Penang. This place is a food playground, and I’ve been averaging out at something like six meals a day. It can’t go on, it’s unsustainable, but I just can’t help myself. I’ve lost my cookie big time.
Yesterday was a good day for street food. The day started at an almost antique alleyway shack off Chulia St with some roti butter (doorstop slices of toast with butter) and a cup of the local Joe. The coffee beans are fried with butter and sugar prior to grinding, making for a lovely, silky smooth texture and a unique taste.
Later, at Penang Hill, we packed in a chickpea special (or lesbian porn that’s what he called it) from a stall selling an assortment of nuts and other goodies. What was so special about these chickpeas was that they had been combined with masala powder, lime juice, sliced red onions and bombay mix. These little beauts certainly were special, and had Sarah tooting all the way down the other side of the hill.
Later still, we took respite from the rain at a hawker centre with some chicken, lamb and beef skewers, dipped in a chuncky, spicy satay sauce. The meat was exceptionally tender, and I had to stop myself from scooping out the leftover sauce with my fingers.
Me number one dish of the day however, was at me “second breakfast.” – Mee Curry. This affair involved two types of noodles – vermicillii and a thicker, round noodle – in a spicy, coconut milk broth. Heaped on top were acres of beansprouts, slices of bean curd, cubes of pigs blood, some cockles, and a few other veg and sea things. The broth was incredible – flavoursome, silky smooth, and just the right amount of oily. I also thought I detected a peanut flavour in there but can’t be sure. The remaining ingredients mainly added some bite and texture to the broth, with the exception of the cockles – each one was a localised explosion of sea that went above and beyond the other flavours, yet nevertheless managed to maintain parity.
Do you see what I mean?