If you’ve ever complained about the lack of choice in organic food here, complain no more. Starting from 8 November 2014, health nuts and organic food lovers willOn November 3, 2014 / By Nookmag
If you’ve ever complained about the lack of choice in organic food here, complain no more. Starting from 8 November 2014, health nuts and organic food lovers will be able to order freshly harvested certified organic produce from Europe! SimplyFresh offers delivery time as short as two to three days, and nine boxes to choose from – your organic food hunt is no longer as troublesome.
These nine boxes, each worth five to seven kilograms worth of goodness, will be delivered to customers weekly. Box options range from Office and School, which has fruits and vegetables that can be eaten with minimal preparations, to Smoothie Box, which offers a selection of produce ideal for delicious smoothie recipes.
Customers may also fully customise their boxes. Yum! The seasonality of produce in Europe means deliveries may occasionally feature produce not commonly found in Singapore, like black salsify and root parsley.
Subscriptions – purchased weekly, monthly, or half a year, are also available. The boxes are priced at SGD138 each, with the exception of the Surprise box which retails for SGD120. Each delivery will come with tips on storing fresh produce as well as cooking tips and recipes developed by SimplyFresh’s in-house chef Susanne Despature. Select seasonal boxes will contain limited edition recipes created by some of Singapore’s leading chefs including 3-star Michelin chef Bruno Menard and Stephan Zoisl from My Private Chef.
A kitchen staple that is taken for granted too often, the salt boasts a presence and absence that can be blatantly felt. Doesn’t matter what our taste preferenceOn October 31, 2014 / By Gracie
A kitchen staple that is taken for granted too often, the salt boasts a presence and absence that can be blatantly felt. Doesn’t matter what our taste preference is, this mineral has endure numerous debates on its benefits and detriments to our health. Best be discerning, while learning as much as you can about what this taste-maker is supposed to be.
One common knowledge about the regular table salt is how it has undergone processing, which depletes its natural minerals and adds additives to it. No, this does not spell the end of tasty food. Rather, this opens the door to a healthy alternative.
Meet The Farquhar Himalayan Food Grade Salt Slab. Containing 84 essential minerals required by the human body, the salt slab elegantly flavours food while nourishing your body with natural goodness. Food basically absorbs the flavours of the salt when placed on it. It could work as a serving plate or a surface to cook on. The ways to use it is only limited by your inventiveness.
We had a chat with The Indiana Supply Company who introduces The Farquhar Himalayan Food Grade Salt Slab to the local scene, to find out more about how the salt slab can revolutionise the way we eat.
Nookmag (N): Tell us more about how The Indiana Supply Company was established and how you discovered the Farquhar Himalayan Food Grade Salt Slabs.
The Indiana Supply CO.(TISC): The Indiana Supply Company is a culmination of many little ideas and many little things: part love-letter to history, part love-letter to the arts, part memento mori. Genesis, however, can be pinned to one comment made by one of our own “when I retire, I shall like to run my own provision shop.”
And we were determined. Our place would be beautiful, and our place will have a strong spine. To do so, we knew we had to start with the crux. We knew we had to start with salt.
The Indiana Supply Company is a love-letter to my dearest memories.
N: Salt, in general, seems to be associated with negative attributes. What are the benefits of using the salt slab as an alternative, besides its amazing flavouring abilities.
TISC: Salt is certainly a very divisive mineral (of all the many things we eat in this world, salt is the only mineral we consume), and there will always be camps for and against it.
As for The Indiana Supply Co., what we are building towards is not so much an internet of things, but the poetry of things. As we continue to build our house, the poetry of salt will become more apparent, like its movement, its appearance, its lasting impression, and the indelible mark some salts leave on us.
As for the benefits of using the salt slab (if I may keep in the current vein), in this form, what we are essentially working with is a semi-precious stone. It has colour, character, and there is a gravitas about it. It is hard not to be stirred, pulled in by its presence.
N: How could we work it?
TISC: Here’s “The Home-Dinner Narrative”.
24-hours prior, cure salmon between two salt slabs (Brick).
Watermelon, feta, mint leaves served on a room-temperature salt slab (Brick).
After use, return to freezer to freeze.
Main: Aglio Olio (pasta with cured salmon slices, on the side Gambas Al Ajillo + scallops)
Prepare Aglio Olio in a pan.
On a heated salt slab (Brick), sear prawns, then scallops.
Combine pasta with prawns and scallops and serve.
Dessert: Salted dark chococlate ice-cream
Dark chocolate ice-cream served on freezer-chilled Brick.
As the narrative goes, salt slabs can be used at various temperature points – room-temperature, over 200°C, at 0°C, as either table-ware, or cook-ware. Take note – keep separate salt slabs for hot and cold use. The stress of the temperature extremes between frost and flame is too great for any salt slab to maintain its structural integrity.
N: In what ways can you use salt slabs for your food? Please suggest any interesting recipes.
1 piece of sashimi-grade salmon, de-skined.
A sprig of dill.
A spray of pepper.
Sandwich everything between two salt slabs, wrap in cling-wrap, throw it to the back of the fridge.
24-hours later, remove salmon and pat dry with napkin.
You have cured salmon.
7:45 a.m.: A few slices of cured salmon, a hardboiled egg, beads of balsamic vinegar, a few crumbs of cheese, some greens between 2 slices of bread, you’ve just made lunch for the day.
8:00 a.m.: You’re gliding out of the house.
7:00 p.m.: Aglio Olio + cured salmon bits + edamame.
7:30 p.m.: You’re having dinner.
N: What are the correct ways to store salt slabs to keep them fresh?
TISC: Salt is hydroscopic (it draws water/moisture); and Singapore’s humidity stands at around 88%. A clammy prospect. Some places in Singapore are less humid than others; I haven’t figured out why this is. It could be because of air conditioning or lack of air flow. Those for cooking, I keep in a no-frills tupperware container after use. What I do is I squeeze a few drops of lemon to keep it smelling citrusy fresh. I also have one permanently in a Ziploc in the chiller; used for fruits, ice-cream, for those who drop in unannounced, and I have another two in a Ziploc in the fridge which I use for curing.
Otherwise, just store in a cool and dry environment. If the salt slab sweats from the humidity, it’s not a big deal either. Just wipe dry with a towel every now and then. Some folks have managed to use this to their advantage but that is another story for another day.
N: What are the different sizes available and how long does one salt slab last?
TISC: Currently we stock The Brick 20x10x5 cm and The Plate 30x20x5 cm.
If you are using it to cook over the gas stove, it is hard to say. It really depends on how you take care of it i.e. do you temper it properly, do you heat it up gradually, do you soak it in water. Ours is a real work horse. We’ve lost count the number of feathers, fins and fowl we’ve cooked on it. That said, I’ve heard of salt slabs shattering on the first heating. Should this happen even adhering to heating best practice, then it is most likely due to the natural distribution of minerals. In the event something like that happens, think fast but act slow. Meaning, turn off the fire and step away: the salt shards are probably hot so give it some time to cool down before cleaning up.
The Farquhar Himalayan Food Grade Salt Slab Brick retails at SGD37, while the Plate retails at SGD90. Catch The Indiana Supply Company at Crateful. The Crateful pop-up store is located at 1M Yong Siak Street from now till end of the year.
Armed with a mission to promote clean eating and primal living, The Hunters’ Kitchenette translate its passion for making good food choices into meaningful jars of gourmet nutOn October 22, 2014 / By Gracie
Armed with a mission to promote clean eating and primal living, The Hunters’ Kitchenette translate its passion for making good food choices into meaningful jars of gourmet nut butters. These nut butters are made fresh from the oven daily with the finest handpicked ingredients.
Founder Herbert Salim created The Hunters’ Kitchenette for his wife Natalia as an extension of their daily life. The couple enjoys making delicious, healthy nut butters together for their family of two children.
Through The Hunters’ Kitchenette, the Salim family adopts a hunter gatherer lifestyle and inspires the community to be street-smart and inquisitive about what they choose to consume. Its mantra is for everyone to take full control of their health with the right information and apply that to their daily lives.
Nut butters by The Hunters’ Kitchenette are available in almond, cashew, hazelnut, hazelnut with cocoa, macadamia, pistachio and even unique custom blends. The nuts are lightly roasted to perfection and are seasoned with a sprinkle of unrefined French sea salt and coconut palm sugar.
In our quest to unearth some words of wisdom about eating well, we spoke with Herbert who offered more insights than what we could ask for.
Nookmag (N): Tell us more about the health benefits of nut butters.
Herbert Salim (H): First of all, not all nut butters are created equal.
– Tree nuts are far more superior than peanuts.
– Peanuts contain aflatoxin, which induce liver cancer in mice.
– The fat in peanuts is mostly Omega 6 polyunaturated fat. In our human body we need a balanced amount of Omega 3 and 6, and if that ratio is lopsided, it will trigger inflamation and suppress our immune system. That’s why eating lots of peanut or peanut butter will lead to a sore throat.
– Tree nuts on the other hand generally have a decent amount of Omega 3 fatty acid to balance the Omega 6, with Macadamias and Walnuts exceptionally high in O3 making them some of the healthiest nuts.
– Tree nuts contain more minerals and antioxidants compared to peanuts.
– Nut or nut butter must not be consumed in raw state, because it contains phytic acid; it’s an anti-nutrient that will bind with minerals in our food, so our body can’t absorb it and digest the nut properly. It must be roasted in low temperature, soaked or sprouted, to reduce or neutralize the anti-nutrients.
These are the reasons why Hunters’ Kitchenette does not do peanut butter, and why we produce our nut butters in a certain way.
N: What are some interesting ways to eat with the nut butters? Feel free to share a recipe or two.
H: Here are eight favourite ways to savour your nut butters but the sky’s the limit!
1. Eat the butters with gluten free bread, such as homemade banana almond bread.
2. Combine macadamia butter with good quality dark chocolate shavings for an epicurean delight.
3. As a dip for apples and pears, the almond, cashew or hazelnut butters make the pair a crunchy treat!
4. Drizzle macadamia butter with a touch of sea salt on baked sweet potatoes —tastes simply divine.
5. Create an appetising breakfast of gluten free pancake using banana, eggs and almond butter.
6. Make a grain free power bar with a mixture of nuts, dark chocolate, almond flour and almond butter.
7. Mix any nut butters into rich, yummy smoothies with coffee, coconut milk, coconut water or carrot juice as the liquid base.
8. Just enjoy them by the spoon full, especially pistachio.
N: How would you advise someone who wants to start eating healthy but not sure where to start?
H: First focus on real foods. Basically foods with ingredients that can still be recognized without using preservatives, artificial colouring & flavouring, and chemicals of any kind. If foods come in a packaging and has been processed, the only way to check is to look at the ingredients list. If it contains more than 5-8 ingredients, and includes things that we don’t have a clue about or can’t pronounce, it is not worth eating.
Avoid toxins like vegetable oils (all polyunsaturated oils which include canola, soy, sun flower, peanut, rapeseed, cottonseed oils), especially margarine or hydrogenated oils (spreadable vegetable oil of any kinds).
Avoid the obvious sugar in the form of table sugar, synthetic sweeteners, sweetened drinks, ‘diet’ or low calorie sugars that are basically chemicals and will damage our brain.
Limit hidden sugar in carbohydrate food source from grains, legumes. Grains include wheat (refined or wholegrain), barley, rye. One bowl of white rice or noodle contains 13-20 teaspoon worth of table sugar. Two slices of white bread have 7-8 teaspoon of sugar while whole wheat bread have 5-7 teaspoon. Note that the human body is not designed to eat three meals a day based on empty carbs/sugar which can be found in these sources.
Choose carbohydrates with high nutrition such as sweet potatoes, yam, pumpkin, all vegetables, and certain fruits like berries (full of antioxidants, minimal sugar). Pair these with healthy fats from coconut & avocado, animals that are raised in their natural environment and eat their natural foods, which are a great source of healthy fat and protein that will nourish our body.
N: What are some misconceptions about healthy eating that you’ve come across?
H: These four are the most misleading statements of all time…
1. Grains and whole grains are healthy. Grains are basically empty carbs, any kind of carbs be it whole grain anything, oatmeal, potatoes, noodle, pasta, bread, fruits, all will be converted into glucose or blood sugar when we digest them. If we eat our typical meal three times a day that are based on carbs, we are definitely ingesting excessive sugar to a toxic level, making diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer unavoidable.
Fibre in grains (especially whole grains) damage human digestive track and destroy our health, in some cases permanently. The good fibre for human is from vegetables and fruits.
2. Eat low fat. Humans have been living on a diet based on fat since 2.4 million years ago. The low fat diet was promoted in the last 50 years, based on bad science and supported by food manufacturers who are looking to gain profit. We have not been eating low fat for 99.99% of our entire existence on earth! Our body is designed to digest fat, just like how rabbits are designed by evolution to eat vegetables, and lions eat meat.
3. Soy is healthy. Soy is probably the most toxic food for human. It is not human food, it was grown to feed animals which in turn make the animal sick and fat. It contains phytoestrogen that affect our hormones, phytic acid, and 98% of soy in the world are genetically modified.
4. Saturated fat causes heart disease and cholesterol is bad for us. This is also based on bad science and politics to ban coconut/tropical oils entering the US market.
Coconut milk, coconut oil, butter, ghee and animal fats are the best saturated fats for the human body. For 2.4 million years, our hunter gatherer ancestors lived by hunting animals and gathering vegetables, nuts, seeds, tubers and seasonal fruits. When they get an animal, they will eat the brain (which is full of cholesterol), all the internal organs and fats. Our body is literally dependent on cholesterol to function.
N: How has the response been so far?
H: It’s been fantastic, and our customers know that we only produce the highest quality food/nut butters.
N: What’s next for Hunters’ Kitchenette?
H: Stay tuned. Whatever we do or make, it will be good for people; will support our health based on an evolutionary perspective, and not based on the ‘health lies’ that are flooding the mainstream media.
One of the world’s most recognisable and respected tennis players, Maria Sharapova, will be in Singapore this 15 October 2014! No, she will not be having a tennisOn October 11, 2014 / By Nookmag
One of the world’s most recognisable and respected tennis players, Maria Sharapova, will be in Singapore this 15 October 2014! No, she will not be having a tennis face-off. She’s here to launch her line of premium candy, Sugarpova.
Sugarpova is proof that Sharapova is not only a skilled tennis player, but a fun one as well! The line reveals her sweet side with up to 9 flavours including Flirty Sour, Quirky, Spooky Sour, and Splashy. These unique candy flavours will satisfy your sweet tooth for sure.
“Creating Sugarpova has been an exciting labour of love,” gushed Sharapova, “My tennis and business schedules keep me travelling worldwide, and I confess to having a sweet tooth that knows what it wants! When I didn’t find it in the marketplace, I decided to create the type of candy that people like me crave. I can’t wait to share Sugarpova with my fellow candy lovers.”
Sugarpova will launch officially on 15 October 2014 in Robinsons The Heeren and will retail for SGD7.50 per packet. From 6.30 to 8.30pm, there will be a an autograph session with fans who purchase at least three packets of Sugarpova candies. Sharapova will sign one packet of candy per shopper each.
From 17 to 24 October 2014, fans who are able to name three Sugarpova Flavours at Robinsons The Heeren on their official Facebook Fanpage or Instagram will enter a lucky draw. Five winners will be picked, and each will receive one autographed Sugarpova packet. Winners will be contacted by Robinsons via Facebook or Instagram, depending on their mode of submission.
The emergence of good, honest local food brands have left most of us wanting more. From the delicious spreads of GSH Conserves to the spicy MOFO Chili (itOn September 30, 2014 / By Nookmag
The emergence of good, honest local food brands have left most of us wanting more. From the delicious spreads of GSH Conserves to the spicy MOFO Chili (it really packs a punch, this one), to say that our local food makers are doing well is an understatement. Crateful, an upcoming F&B-centric online store, will serve as your supermarket of local producers. From now until the end of 2014, you can check out the brands in person at the Crateful pop-up (1M Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru).
The brands chosen for Crateful belong to a new generation of food producers who seek to give respect back to the food production process – to gather responsibly from mother nature and to give back to the local community in the freshest, most sustainable way. This means doing away with mass production and saying no to preservatives and artificial additives. The brands with Crateful include:
A Juicery, whose eclectic eclectic juice menu boasts original recipes that have been designed to tap into the abundance of nutrient-rich local and regional produce as much as possible. Flavours include Coco Cloud, Chai Express, and Never Miss A Beet.
BREW by A.muse Projects, which is all about inspired teas. BREW currently has three collections of Inspired Teas – wine-inspired teas, coffee-inspired teas and the newest collection, alcohol-inspired teas. Flavours include Pina Colada.
The Blend & Press Co., whose menu advocates raw, fresh, and natural food and does not include artificial flavouring and additives. Flavours include Chia Oats Smoothie in Apple Pear & Spinach.
GSH Conserves, a small and independent company that aims to conserve our environment. Spread by GSH Conserves is a line of jam and condiments, with flavours like Mango & Lime and Dragonfruit & Lychee.
MOFO Chili, a vegetarian friendly (no pork no lard too), chili producer that will give your dish a spicy kick without changing the taste of your food.
3 Bites Full, where you can get handmade gourmet nougats using only premium quality chocolate from Belgium, quality almond and cranberries from USA and quality dairy products from France and New Zealand. Yums!
The Indiana Supply Co. which champions salt – in the best way possible. Add the flavours of 84 natural trace minerals to your food with The Farquhar Himalayan Food Grade Salt Slabs, whether they are brownies or fruit!
Other brands you can look forward to are: Citizen Pop, Hic’Juice, Joogo Juice, The Mlk Co, Nutteree, Poppy & Co, The Hunters’ Kitchenette, Eastern Granola, Superlative Foods, The Edible Company, Cupplets, and Strictly Pastry. You can also get accessories from Euphoramics, a label that focuses on handmade ceramics that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Coffee is a universal language that can reveal the attitude of cultures, communities and even individuals. From harvest to brew, the entire process of making coffee is asOn September 21, 2014 / By Gracie
Coffee is a universal language that can reveal the attitude of cultures, communities and even individuals. From harvest to brew, the entire process of making coffee is as complex as its taste variations and the subjectivity attached to them. While many cafés are content to serve up crowd-pleasing blends, there is one that addresses the spectrum of tastes that different coffee beans are made to deliver.
Challenging and stimulating people’s palates with a selection of unconventional coffee blends, Common Man Coffee Roasters (CMCR) desires to make quality coffee and the knowledge surrounding it more accessible to the greater public. The café pushes the boundaries by experimenting with different coffee flavour profiles and encouraging customers to open up their palates to exciting possibilities.
“Arabica coffee consists of over 800 different flavour compounds and aromas. Variety, selective picking, regional microclimates, processing, roasting and brewing are just a few factors that impact our perceived taste,” says Andrew Kent, general manager of CMCR. “The specialty coffee industry is continuously evolving, and to be able to share our knowledge with a world-renowned food forward city, through unique coffee profiles, eloquently stokes our pursuit for exceptional coffees.”
CMCR’s unconventional approach to coffee is reflected in the way it advocates the acidity of the drink, which is often determined by the length of its extraction. A common misconception equates acidity to a flawed cuppa. But for CMCR, the acidity is an element that breaks the monotony of the coffee by giving it a sharp tangy fruity taste. Though it’s not usually favoured, the taste for it could be acquired once consumers start to alter their mindset towards it.
The filter coffee served at CMCR highlights the acidity of the drink. Recommended options include Yirg Zero and Ardi Sidama from Ethiopia. Usually brewed by aeropress, the Yirg Zeo has a floral, intense taste and comprises elements of candy sweetness, lemongrass, coriander and peach-like juiciness. Ardi Sidama is usually brewed by chemex and comprises exaggerated fruity tones with lingering blueberry, cherry orange, and dark chocolate taste.
The café also offers to send someone a coffee subscription as a gift for its patrons. They usually send their house espresso blend (complex, medium bodied and juicy with notes of cherry, distinct floral scents, sweet citrus and dark cocoa) and limited edition back room coffee options.
CMCR houses a coffee roaster, a specialty coffee bar, a 60-seater restaurant that offers all-day dining, and a retail space that offers coffee accessories. To learn how to observe the taste and aromas of various brewed coffee, join CMCR’s coffee cupping sessions for free every Wednesday at 2pm.
Common Man Coffee Roasters
Location: 22 Martin Road, #01-00, Singapore 239058
Tel: 6836 4695
Opening Hours: 8am to 7pm, daily
Classics never grow old – we’re pretty familiar with this. Even in the world of ice cream, we tend to run back to the likes of the timelessOn September 16, 2014 / By Nookmag
Classics never grow old – we’re pretty familiar with this. Even in the world of ice cream, we tend to run back to the likes of the timeless chocolate and vanilla for the purest form of indulgence. Expanding its classic flavours which include Classic Vanilla, Belgian Chocolate, Strawberry, Green Tea and Macadamia Nut, Häagen-Dazs is introducing Classic Milk for a limited period.
Designed to enchant the senses with its untainted palate and velvety texture, Classic Milk is a decadent yet refreshing treat that hat tips iconic gourmet delights. To fully appreciate the pureness of the flavour, it is best savoured in the dark where our sense of taste is not distracted by our sight. This was the sensory experience presented during the launch of the Häagen-Dazs Class Milk flavour, where guest were treated for a meal at NOX Dine in the Dark. The experience was ironically eye-opening but this is a story for a different occasion.
Krys Davies, Managing Director, Thailand Singapore Malaysia & ADM for General Mills, said, “Milk has always been a traditional and enticing beverage amongst young and old alike. It is an authentic and classic flavour which we have redefined into an iconic and luxurious treat for our discerning customers.”
“Classic Milk goes back to our humble belief in gourmet simplicity. Made with the freshest milk, cream, free-range eggs and sugar that are sourced from local farms near our factories in rural France, each serving is guaranteed to offer the purest form of enjoyment”.
At SGD14.50 a pint, Häagen-Dazs’ Classic Milk is available at all Häagen-Dazs cafes and leading retail outlets throughout Singapore for six months, while stocks last. In addition to the pint-size package and scoop servings, Häagen-Dazs cafes are also offering stylish and tasteful in-store creations that accentuate Classic Milk’s unique flavour.
Classical Medley (SGD24)
Indulge your senses with an elegant mélange of Classic Milk, Raspberry Sorbet and Mango Raspberry ice cream. Each lavish indulgence is individually placed in four mini glass vases and sit atop decadent brownie bites, sweet waffle cone shards, apple crisp granola and dark chocolate or peanut butter crumble. The base of each delight is laden with complementing rich chocolate, caramel or strawberry syrup and adorned with freshly whipped cream for the ultimate sweet extravagance.
Pure Delight, served with coffee or tea (SGD20)
Redefine afternoon tea time with a duo of indulgent petit Classic Milk ice cream cakes, each decorated with lavish toppings. Freshly whipped cream and dark chocolate or peanut butter crumble, garnish one of the petit fours, while succulent strawberries, freshly whipped cream and almond nibs, embellish the other. The subtle yet sumptuous toppings enhance the French cream flavour for the ultimate timeless sweet pleasure.
The perks of running a mobile coffee store are embedded in the unique experiences for the dynamic duo of Chief Coffee Singapore. Soaking up the vibe of theOn August 26, 2014 / By Nookmag
The perks of running a mobile coffee store are embedded in the unique experiences for the dynamic duo of Chief Coffee Singapore. Soaking up the vibe of the various events, Nur Atika and Dino enjoys meeting different customers while serving up their menu of specialty drinks.
Nur Atika said, “What we love about coffee is the natural perk-me up effects of the aroma and the drink itself. We also love to serve speciality coffee to patrons and ask them for their feedback after their first sip. We love seeing smiles on their faces and nods of approval to their friends after trying out our drinks. From these gestures, we know that we have made a small but meaningful positive effect to their day.”
Chief Coffee Singapore was established with the emerging market of coffee lovers and the growing interest in café hopping. Rather than setting up another café, Nur Atika and Dino decided to go mobile in bringing high quality coffee and services to coffee drinkers and coffee lovers who patronise events such as festivals and flea markets. All these would not be possible without a dose of love too.
Chief Coffee Singapore serves up speciality coffee, tea latte and Chief’s specials that include latte, americano, cappuccino, mocha, vanilla latte, green tea latte, Thai milk tea, chocolate and more. It also customises its menu according to the theme of the event. Chief uses Arabica coffee beans, mostly from Latin America, and is selective in choosing its beans by ensuring the highest grade possible supplied by credited local roasters.
Drop by Chief Coffee Singapore’s booth at the TLP X SAM Night Market on 30 August 2014, 7pm to 2am, to satisfy your caffeine appetite.
Photos courtesy of Chief Coffee Singapore.
We savour the simple pleasures in life, such as sipping ice cold fizzy soda on a hot humid day. But it’s always a bummer when we realize howOn August 25, 2014 / By Gracie
We savour the simple pleasures in life, such as sipping ice cold fizzy soda on a hot humid day. But it’s always a bummer when we realize how much sugar, artificial flavoring and preservatives we are actually ingesting.
While we thought we are destined to sip injurious soda for the rest of our lives, Citizen Pop came along and brought the sun back into our days. Reinventing the way people perceive and consume soft drinks, Citizen Pop uses only natural ingredients such as freshly-squeezed juice, herbs and spices for their sodas.
We love healthy alternatives, not because we are health freaks but because they are purposeful and tasty. And they make us feel physically good as compared to a load of sugar in our system, which in turn affects our mental and emotional well-being too.
Citizen Pop are constantly formulating new flavours out of the earth’s amazing produce. Its current staple flavours are Apple Ginger and Lemon Thyme, and the soda maker will be offering Watermelon Basil, Roasted Almond cream soda and Lime Fennel at the TLP X SAM Night Market on 30 August 2014.
We had a quick chat with Imelda Mo from Citizen Pop to find out more about its soda offerings and how we can create a healthy glass of soda in the comfort of our home.
Nookmag (N): You’ve got some really creative flavours for Citizen Pop. How do you get ideas for the soda flavours?
Imelda (I): There isn’t a fixed source of inspiration. Grocery shopping late at night can be pretty therapeutic. Walking down the aisles and imagining the flavour profiles of certain ingredients I’m interested in can spark some crazy ideas. Those times, it usually translates to buying a whole lot of stuff and just experimenting. That’s the key, not being afraid to put two ingredients together and put it in your mouth. Although that said, a lot of ideas should simply remain as that – an idea.
I also do a lot of reading – books, online etc. There are so many chefs, bakers out there with way more experience than me. I can learn a lot from their tips. For example, citrus is often used to add a kick, a zing to cut through, so flavours aren’t so flat.
N: How often do you change or put out new flavours?
I: We try to debut new flavours at every pop-up. Sometimes we’re more tied up so we bring back the crowd pleasers. So far, I think we do introduce at least one new concoction in four out of five pop-ups. The bottles that are sold at our stockists are more permanent because as a small start-up, we need to reap as much economies of scale as possible. However, we are toying with the idea of rotating flavours every few months. For example, we are adding a third flavour to our bottles in the next month or two to come.
N: The response that you’ve been getting for your sodas have been amazing. What is the best compliment you have received so far?
I: It’s hard to decide! Cravings from fans warrant a mention. I’m happy to serve up sodas that they keep wanting more of! Another one of our fan-turn-friend has likened our Spiced Apple to “Christmas in a cup”. That’s pretty awesome, innit?
N: What are some challenges you face?
I: Education and awareness. Our two greatest barriers to entries are, firstly, the unusual flavours and secondly, the price. To address the first, as much as locals are exposed to cuisine from all over the world, they can still be a bit apprehensive when they see something completely unfamiliar and new. The westerners are more open to trying without hesitating. We give out as many samples as we can, because 90% of the time, they find something they really like!
Second is the price point. Compared to other traditional soft drinks, we are slightly more premium. That can be a turn-off for some. Over time, we want people to understand the product integrity. Our sodas are made from fresh fruits and ingredients. Fresh produce is not cheap in a little city with no farms, but we still want to share Citizen Pop with the local community because we believe it’s beneficial. Apart from that, we invest in a lot of time, dedication and quality control. We try to keep our prices low but we still need to justify the business.
N: Any tips on how we can try making a simple glass of homemade soda?
I: Yes! This is a recipe for a Strawberry Basil soda. The strawberries provides a very light-pink hue to the soda, making it a very pretty and refreshing drink for a hot Singapore night. Add some alcohol to transform it into a fizzy cocktail.
Cut about 500g of strawberries into quarters.
Add them into a saucepan together with the juice of half a lemon, a handful of large sweet basil leaves, 1.5 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar.
Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Once it boils, lower the heat and simmer until the strawberries become very soft and loses its color. Stir occasionally.
Let the mixture cool.
Strain into a small jar. (You can mesh the cooked strawberries to give you a bit more syrup, but that will make the syrup cloudy)
To serve, add some club soda to a few tablespoons of syrup depending on how strong you like the flavour to be.
I prefer my sodas to be not too sweet, but you can add some simple syrup to further sweeten it. If you’re very health conscious, you can omit the sugar and add honey instead directly into the cup!
Get refreshed with Citizen Pop at the TLP X SAM Night Market on 30 August 2014, 7pm to 2am. On other days, you can grab its yummy sodas at A.F.D.C Cafe (Orchard Gateway #03-01), Carpenter & Cook (19 Lorong Kilat #01-06 S598120), Envy Coffee ([email protected] #01-04), Lola’s Cafe (5 Simon Rd, S545893), The Lokal (136 Neil Road S088865) and SPRMRKT (2 McCallum Street S069043).
Photos courtesy of Citizen Pop.
Yup, that’s right, Magnum Singapore Pleasure Store will be extending its final stop in Singapore by another month until 23 August 2014, Saturday, at Customs House Terrrace fromOn August 3, 2014 / By Nookmag
Yup, that’s right, Magnum Singapore Pleasure Store will be extending its final stop in Singapore by another month until 23 August 2014, Saturday, at Customs House Terrrace from 12pm to 10.30pm daily. The best thing about the Magnum Pleasure Store is that customers are given the freedom to design their own Magnum ice cream at the Make My Magnum Bar. Of course, there are other desserts you can indulge in, like the Silver Jubilee and Over the Moon – both specially launched during the final re-opening in May to mark Magnum’s 25th Birthday.
In light of National Day, Magnum has come up with the National Day Indulgence Menu for one night only to compliment the pleasure of watching the fireworks display from one of the best vantage point in town. If you just want some good ice cream, hurry before the Magnum Pleasure Store ends its tour round Singapore!