Comfort food means…
- Ice cream.
- Pizza with lotsa cheese toppings.
- Potato chips.
- and the list goes on…
In stressful and manic times, I find solace in scooping a favorite flavor of ice cream or savoring a bar of dark chocolate and everything becomes OK in a heartbeat.
Last weekend, I never thought my feet will bring me again to a small restaurant in Plaza Gurney to try a snack set for the second time. Perhaps, because it took me 7 months of waiting for my craving for that warm and tasteful congee to be satisfied and this Chinese food place called, “I Love Yoo” which has a branch also at the food court of Queensbay Mall, Penang doesn’t disappoint.
This set of comfort food is different for it’s rich in history.
Just before eating those deeply fried bread called ‘Yoo tiaw’ by dunking it piece a by piece on the congee,poster about it on the restaurant’s wall caught my attention.
“Legend has it that the Yoo tiao is first created during the Song dynasty by two people. It was previously known as “chua kwai”, loosely translated- fried devil.
How did it all begin? It all started with a murder conspiracy.
Jealous of the dynasty’s most loyal and devoted General- Yu Fei, Grand councilor Qin Kuai and his wife plotted and schemed and murdered the General at Fengboting. This injustice attracted a massive public outcry.
At that time, there was a food vendor that sold fried foodstuff. Hearing about the wrongful death of the General, the food vendor, in his rage, immediately sculpted miniatures of two people -one to represent the Grand Councilor and the other to represent his wife –from dough. Twisting them together with their backs facing each other, he then threw the dough into the wok filled with hot oil and shouted, “Come see, Kuai, being deep fried!” “Come see, Kuai, being deep fried!”.
When passers-by heard about Kuai being deep fried, they crowded around his stall and knew who those two figures represented. As they ate, they continued with the chanting and yelled out to others, “Come see, Kuai, being deep fried!”.
The Yoo tiao may come fro origins such as this, but this delicious Chinese snack lived on through the ages and can now be found everywhere in the world. There is a saying that goes, “Wherever the Chinese are, there you’d find, Yoo tiao.”
I have never been fascinated with a snack’s origin until I’ve tasted Yoo tiao.
What’s your favorite comfort food?
Enjoy your weekend, everyone! God bless.