Brunei Darussalam

ICE AGE

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I’m not much of a story teller or even pretend I am anywhere good at it. So for the most part of what I want to share here, I’m delighted to quote what has been eloquently written about Cheng Teng (also referred to as Cheng Tng) by Lianhe Zaobao Sunday, translated in Makansutra Forum. Some people love Ice Kacang I dig Cheng Teng more than any other cold desserts when I travel. This photo was taken at Food Republic Pavilion Kuala Lumpur on July 23 right after the Bukit Bintang Fashion Carnival.

Long before your time, in the province of Teochew, the Teochews made special soup called “5 Fruits Soup” to get rid of the humidity during the long Summers back in China. They use Longans, Ginko Nuts, Barley, 莲子 Lian Zi and 百合 Bai He to make a special brew. When the Teochews came to Nanyang, they discovered that there is no 4 seasons here. Everyday is hot and wet. Hence, this 5 Fruit Soup became more of a dessert then a brew. And the Teowchews even added more ingredients from Nanyang, such as Agar Agar strips, Sago, Cai-Yan etc etc which exceeded the 5 fruits originally used. The Cheng Tng of early days were full of ingredients and the sweetnesses of the soup was tweaked to allow individual to suit his own tastebud. The 1st Generation of Cheng Tng stalls operated by Teochews were situated right at 乌桥头. This dessert was especially cooling for the coolies who worked at the quay.

Read also Trip Down Culinary Lane (Food Republic Singapore)

Cheng Teng is a brew plus a sweet dessert that can be served both hot and cold. It is also known as the “five fruits soup” as it is made of longans, barley, gingko nuts, lian zi, and bai he, and is believed to rid a person of humidity and “heatiness”. Perfect for our region's tropical weather.

6 thoughts on “ICE AGE

  1. It’s also my favourite. Esp on a hot day. Biting into the sweet longan, the crunch of the white fungus and the piquant taste of gingko makes this all so refreshingly Asian.

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    1. It’s obvious you’re a way bigger fan of ‘cheng teng’ than I am. I had to consult Mr Oxford the meaning of piquant. Unfortunately for me, each bitingly piquant opportunity for me costs several hundred dollars in travel arrangements. We have something called 6 Flavours in Brunei that aren’t the same as Cheng Teng unfortunately. Similar but different.

      piquant
      n adjective
      1 having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavour.
      2 pleasantly stimulating or exciting to the mind.

      DERIVATIVES
      piquancy noun
      piquantly adverb

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  2. My mum makes an awesome Cheng Teng which is a hot (or should I say cold! haha) favourite among all our family members! Next time she makes it, I’ll be sure to tapau some for you 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Reedz! A wet Friday morning on this side of the country just got (appetizingly) wetter! 🙂

      p.s. I don’t go hunting for Cheng Teng here but have on odd occasions tried chilled one at You Me (the one in Kg Menglait) and that’s quite close. (Never paid much attention to their concoction though).

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