There was this story told by a friend about pasta alla carbonara. Well, you knew me folks, when it came to food, I would be the first to listen. I urged her to talk to me about it during lunch at our cafetaria. My other friends were too excited to listen, they were enthusiastic to join the crowd.
Well, without we even realising it, our small luncheon group was actually built by foodies. We loved food, we talked about them, and we even gossiped about them. Most definitely, we chased them.
So, in our mind at that time was about a new place to eat carbonara. Well, we always have this habit of talking about delicious stuff when the pocket was no longer filled with RM50 notes. When the salary has been disbursed early, the only notes we could find in our pocket were only blue. Sometimes, we realised that even coins seemed to be very valuable. So, yes, our budget was a bit tight after raya. Everyone seemed to share food especially the home cooked ones:)
When Azraa started to talk, we listened. Could it be a trip to Tony Roma's on the 25th? Or Las Vacas - the new place at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng which was just a walking distant from our office?
Azraa story begun with the story of herself in Twitter and how much she adored those who actually got time to tweet. As a mother of two - she was busy breastfeeding and the only time she had to tweet was when she was using her Instagram as it was linked to her Twitter account.
However, when she got tensed up, there were times when she browsed the timeline and read other people's thought. Her finding was the info which was ought to be shared:
Pasta alla carbonara.
Yes, we ate our food but did we really know how it was established?
Some of us did not realised that a food reprensented several subjects in school - History, Languages, Science, Mathematics and Geography.
"The pork is cooked in its own fat , then hot pasta is dropped into the pan to finish cooking for a few seconds."
It was a common knowledge that we won't be able to replicate a western dish hundred percent due to our religious beliefs, eligibility of ingredients and cost. However, we must also bear in mind that our choice of ingredient must be logical and sensible. As mentioned, in order for us to substitute the ingredients, we must knew how it would impact the food. There were reasons why people in Norway ate bears. There were reasons why rendang had one names with several recipes. There were reasons why people in Pahang have patin as their specialty.
Okay folks,you might think that I was just being fussy. Hey Sha, why were being so persistent in putting the right ingredients?
Have you heard about a phrase called "price of cheese"?
"a phrase used when somone says something that is nothing to do with anything"
- Urban Dictionary
I used the same argument with Azraa during our pasta alla carbonara luncheon. It was cooked by our own cafeteria chef. Well, if you have those thoughts that a cafeteria cook was just a cook, then you were wrong. Ours was the best. He cooked carbonara in a hotel before he cooked in the cafeteria.
Azraa: She put cheddar cheese in her pasta alla carbonara. And she called me makcik.
Me: What's that got to do with the price of cheese?
Azraa: It won't matter if she kept it to herself and used Google effectively.
Me: Please elaborate.
Azraa: Dear Sha, if indeed she Googled the recipe, and she found out that mozarella was the cheese to be used for carbonara, then she should at least tried to Google more. And cheddar cheese was totally wrong!
Me: Yeah, but she would say that she was trying to make the recipe her own way.
Azraa: Not cheddar!
Me: So, what? There was no parmesan in her small town?
Azraa: I'd rather find the right one than cooked the wrong one.
Me: But she craved for carbonara and she settled down with whatever around her.
Azraa: That was not the way she portrait the whole situation.
Me: Then how?
Azraa told us that she was following a famous twitter who declared that she couldn't find mozarella for her carbonara. So, she used cheddar and uploaded the picture in Twitter. It appeared on Azraa's timeline and she was not happy about it.
For record, Azraa was half Italian.
Yes, I did not deny that I laughed at her story as I found it amusing for one to use cheddar for pasta.
"The etymology gave rise to the term "coal miner's spaghetti", which is used to refer to spaghetti alla carbonara in parts of the United States."
"Cheddar has been produced since at least the 12th century. A pipe roll of King Henry II from 1170 records the purchase of 10,240 lb (4,640 kg) at a farthing per pound (totaling £10.13s.4d., about £10.67 in decimal currency). Charles I (1600–1649) also bought cheese from the village."
I found the combination of king and coal miners was quite amusing. But don't you think that maybe that was the whole purpose of creating that recipe?
Azraa did not agree on that. In Azraa's opinion, if one wanted to use Google as a reference for recipes, at least that person must used at least two or three references. Well, folks, I tried. I have Googled several recipes for carbonara and found parmesan as the answer. In fact wikipedia had mentioned:
"Pasta alla carbonara (usually spaghetti, but also fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini), is an Italian pasta dish based on eggs, cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century."
So, cheddar cheese which was frequently used for sandwiches was used and Azraa was agitated. For few minutes, I thought she was fusing over small matters.
But then I just realised that the twitter she followed was a famous one. The one who had thousands of followers who might think that was the correct way of cooking carbonara. Well, that didn't count the fact that when Azraa confronted her about it, the twitter called her makcik.
Azraa was not furious about nothing.
It was about providing wrong info.
It was about lack of research.
What was the use of an iPad again?