THE REAL DEAL
Douwe Egberts, a Dutch merchant house founded in 1752, was acquired by Sarah Lee in 1989.
Sarah Lee also holds a 30% stake in Delta Galil, Israel’s largest textiles manufacturer - among other things they make products for Playtex and Victoria’s Secret.
Which means that if you sip your cup of Pickwick tea while wearing nothing but a bra and panties, you are supporting the Great International Zionist Conspiracy. Yay!
I recommend that we all do that. It's for a noble cause.
One of the other teas he drinks is 頂級湞紅. It is Chinese.
Deng kap tsan hong ('ding ji zhen hung') = Top-notch Chan river red, a black tea from Canton.
Which he says is green in the cup.
Did I mention that he is English?
None of the tea he drinks is.
Or so it seems.
Somewhat related thereto, I should probably explain how I came to live so close to Chinatown when I moved back to the States from Holland many years ago.
It's all about the food.
Which, as everyone knows, is available all over Chinatown.
Perhaps it would be better to say that products with Dutch terms on the labels are available in Chinatown. Products with which I was extremely familiar while I still lived in the Netherlands.
Sambal. Kroepoek. Trassi. Ketjap manis. Petis. Blatjan. Ebi. Santan (in cans). Oester saus.
[Chili paste. Shrimp chips. Fish paste. Sweet soy sauce. Fish sauce. Fish ferment. Dry shrimp. Tins of coconut milk. Oyster sauce.]
Yep, you really can't get more Dutch than that. Unless its djintan, ketoembar, koenjit, kemirie, lengkoewas, serai, tjabai.
[Cumin seed, coriander seed, turmeric, candlenuts, red dwarf ginger, lemon grass, chilipepper (capsicum spp.).]
Typically Netherlandish chow: Soto oedang, nasi oedoek, ajam taliwang, and sambal goreng boentjies. Plus fresh atjar and blanched veggies with a spicy dip. And loempia.
The ingredients are just not available at your corner grocery.
[Large prawns in a soup with tamarind (asem) and various greens plus rice-stick noodles, rice cooked in coconut milk (santen) with spices and lemon grass (serai), Lombok-style chicken with a spicy sauce made from shrimp paste chili garlic palm sugar and kentjoer root, and stir-fried string beans with chilipaste and shrimp sauce. Atjar means pickle, loempia are crispy eggrolls.]
It was culinary anomie. I just needed to eat.
Even today, one of my favourite meals still is a big scoop of rice with a fried egg, some cooked mystery meat or steamed fish, and a hefty dollop of chilipaste. Add blanched greens and something crispy on the side, and you have got yourself a feast.
And after eating well, it is a pleasure to settle back and light up a pipe ... filled with English tobacco. Something nice and zesty, like SQUADRON LEADER from Samuel Gawith (Kendal, Cumbria, England). That being a medium Oriental mixture composed of fine Turkish leaf, augmented by Cyprian Latakia and Virginia (from Malawi and Mozambique, mostly).
This is the authentic life! It's just grand.
And perhaps it's also time for tea .......
The Dutch words above are actually Indonesian. Which you probably already realized.
In modern Indonesian some are no longer spelled that way.
Sambal. Krupuk. Trasi. Kecap manis. Petis. Belacan. Ebi. Santan.
蠔油 (ho yau)
Jintan, ketumbar, kunyit, kemiri, lengkuas, serai, cabai.
Soto udang, nasi uduk, ayam taliwang, and sambal goreng buncis. Acar. Lumpia.