Of food, hunts and tastings with the MPOC

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I was part of an interesting blogger meet sponsored by the #MPOC (Malaysian Palm Oil Council) and the focus of the meet was clearing the negative vibes from palm oil and how comparable it is to all the other claimed healthy oils available in the market.

I remember Palmolein in a yellow and blue tin that was available in my childhood in all these Public Distribution System shops (ration) and stored in absolutely unbelievable and nauseating ways and distributed to the public. We stopped buying palm oil due to the storage conditions. The entire negative aspersions on health issues was mainly due to this.

The MPOC is actively involved is dispelling the myths and ill conceived notions of the palm oil

Did you know the best of food products from chocolates, to savouries (major brands such as Haldirams) and even cosmetics use palm oil?  Most street vendors who make those lip smacking addictive goodies use palm oil. 40% of India according to the MPOC statistics use palm oil. The reasons being

  1. high smoke point
  2. reusable up to three times making it a viable options for vendors
  3. cheaper than other oil in the market
  4. Absolutely no smell or taste so the food tastes and smells as it should

The third point is actually against its image. Since it is cheaper, the perceived positives is lower compared to the other expensive oil. The very nature of the oil itself  also adds to the negativity. Oil that do not freeze are considered better than oil that do not. This is why there was a drive against fatty oils like clarified butter, coconut oil. Now these are making a come back.

Palm oil by nature is viscous and solidifies below 20 degrees. This does not change the fact that it is same as under vegetable oil available in the market. I am experimental by nature and I keep rotating my oil never repeating the same oil.  Among the oils I have used, I like rice bran, canola, and now the palm oil. I also use olive oil (never for cooking. Prefer it on salads), soya, mustard and peanut oil though they add their own characteristic to the food and give it a distinct flavor

Enough gyaan now to the event itself

The gathering was in Mainland China. After the introductions and Q&A sessions by Bhavna Shan from MPOC,  the  food hunt started…

 

The concept is simple. 4 clues were given spread across 4 restaurants. Solve the clue, identify the restaurant, head there, complete an activity and get the next clue.  The team who completes the activity fastest but still does quality work wins

Centered around Church Street the first activity was in Oh Calcutta which was a blind tasting event.  Wear a blindfold and a spoonful (more if you require) of vegetable curry is spoon
fed to you. Identify the ingredients in it from the micro to the macro. We managed to identify between 20-30 I think

 

The second activity was in Hoppipola which was a salad creation activity.  We were made to sit on tables where beautifully arranged ingredients waited for us.
Me and my team created a caesar salad with sour cream, dijon mustard, regular mustard and orange juice.

The third activity was eating a pan from Empire Hotel.

 

The fourth was in Russh Gastropub for completing a quiz based on information from the MPOC website and primarily palm oil. After this was a mad “Russh” back to Mainland Chine, the starting point of the hunt (with the first team getting additional points) and getting the maximum points in a magnetic dart game. Suffice to say mine was a disaster and if not for the screen in between my dart would have ended in one of the buffet dishes.  I would choose to say as an excuse my eyes were on the buffet 😀  We also had some team photo sessions in various wacky accessories

 

It was a good wrap up with some splendid round of food that Mainland China is famous for. The chicken coriander soup and dimsum combo was very nice and so were the desserts. I was too busy eating than taking a snap but I did get a few.

 

 

The goodie bag I got had Ferrero Rocher and other goodies which were made up of palm oil of course. The winning team had an additional Nutella.

 

Overall an interesting session and looking forward to more such fun events.

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