Nostalgia from Singapore

I've been missing my home country of Singapore where I spent my childhood years. From a place where food is just so plentiful, I especially crave all the delicious eats that I don't get to have as often here in Canada.


As a tribute to my beloved homeland, I recently designed a collection of Singapore-food themed chemistry cards. 

Coffee shops, also known as kopi tiams in Singapore are well known for serving kaya toast for breakfast. Kaya is a sweet green coconut jam with a pandan flavour that is oh so yummy! Lauric acid from coconut and 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline from pandan are molecules found in kaya, as seen in this cheerful Kaya Birthday Card.

Kaya Birthday Card | Singapore Food

Popular bite-sized snack foods include various kueh (or kuih) made of glutinous rice flour and sweet flavours of gula melaka, coconut, or pandan. Some are savory. There are SOOO many varieties of kueh that you can indulge in at any time of day. Two of my favourites are Ang Ku Kueh and Rainbow Kuih Lapis. This punny Kueh Valentine Card shows the structure of amylopectin, the dominant starch in glutinous rice.

You make me kueh kueh but I still love you

If you know me, I'm a noodle gal and laksa has got to be my absolute favourite noodle dish with a uniquely characteristic taste that can be attributed to the laksa leaf, P. odorata. The Laksa Valentine Card below shows a long molecule called dodecanal from the laksa leaf. 

Laksa Love Card | Singapore Food 
What can I say, there's also satay! Tender morsels of barbecued meat on bamboo skewers eaten with peanut sauce that gives a roasty aroma of 2-methyl-3-furanthiol. This Satay {choose your year} Anniversary Card shows what the molecule looks like.

Satay Anniversary Card | Singapore Food

Finally, the durian, a spiky green fruit with a pungent odour from Singapore, Malaysia & South East Asia. What causes the stink you ask? None other than the culprits, 1-(ethylsulfanyl)ethanethiol and ethyl (2S)-2methylbutanoate, you see in the Durian Thank You Card below. Some people love it, some people hate it, and some people hate to love it! Nonetheless, if you can be en-durian the strong aroma, you might get to try the creamy yellow flesh inside that tastes way better than it smells.

Durian Thank You Card | Singapore Food

I can't wait to be in Singapore again the next chance I get! In the meantime, Lion City Restaurant in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada serves up some delicious Singaporean dishes you can try if you are nearby. 

As plentiful as food is in Singapore, there are more food chemistry designs in my shop! Check out the entire Singapore Food Collection and let me know if you've tried any of these foods (+ drinks). What are your favourite eats? I'd love to know, so tell me in the comments below.

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