Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Embrace the Spiciness of Penang (pt 1)

        Just when we thought we have seen it all how beautiful Penang is, something that once being widely spoken of has returned - Hot and Spicy!

        Spices not necessarily to be hotty spicy but they sure give a "kick" in our flavors if used right. That is why Ministry of Tourism Penang Office decided to awake the classic image of Penang - so that people know why she was once a hot chick to many continents and countries.

        This trail, just like the one I had before (the coffee trail), allowed me to experience the subject in every possible way - see, know, touch, and taste. Ever better, we have a guide this time to make the whole trip even more interesting by learning the juicy stories of streets, places, buildings along the way.

        It's called The Spice Trail, ladies and gentlemen (here is the newspaper reporting).

        When you come to Penang. Don't just come and go. Don't just eat and leave. Don't just take pictures and post on FB (*ha!).

        Both you and Penang deserve a real deal in seeing and showing the true beauty regardless you are on a luxury breakaway such as staying in boutique hotel down town, resort style beach hotel by the coast line or spending on budget backpack trip.

         Look for a good guide who can bring you into the core of it if you are not into "find out yourself" type, or dig deep if you are the kind that love to appreciate the city you visit with your own style.

        First of all, look up.

        The buildings built during the time of British Colonial have some "signatures"  - name, logo, numbers and even symbolic decorative. Below are some of the many spotted beautiful buildings along the way of this trail.

(Left: the old logo for OCBC; Top: George Town Dispensary;
Bottom: Coins, Bamboos, Bats (means fortune, endless, joy); Right: year of completion)
        Secondly, look for small blue board like this. There are plenty of boards like this in the city, usually located at the either end of a street. Because Penang is a multiracial city and this culture has been around for decades thus you will find different names (in different language) for the same street and the come-about of such names.

        We were walking down the road towards little india and our guide said, "let's cross the street. I want to show you all something".  

        For example, if the street is known as "chicken sale street" to the local Chinese then you can't go wrong with there were plenty of chicken sellers here long ago.

        As we passed the houses in this little street, we reach............... 

BREAKFAST! (*yay!!)

        Malaysian food is so flavorful. Almost all types of food you can find in Malaysia contain spices ("die die" also have got to have spice in one way or another even it is not found in that food itself). For instance, the gravies for ROTI. Spices not only make food tastier, they also make food prettier. Look at the buckets - yellow, red, orange. Don't you just love and enjoy your food better? Don't get scared away, not all red equals to hotty-spicy (just like Jalapeno can be firey even it's green).  

(to be continued)



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