Singapore’s Street Food

singapore street food

The street food culture in Singapore dates back to the 1800s.  But in recent times, many of the street food stalls have been moved to Hawker centers, and the culture seems to be on a decline.

Today, the country has more than 14,000 licensed hawkers across 110 hawker centers and markets, with about 6000 cooked food stalls, offering tasty meals at affordable prices.  Hawkers enjoy government subsidies, and pay an average of $200 a month, against an average of $1,250 for other stallholders.  But this still additional cost and often times unaffordable with raw material costs and low retail price of the food.

There are other reasons why the culture seems to be fading. The younger generation does not wish to takeover the wok of their hawker parents, and the job is not rewarding enough anymore. High government rents are one reason of increasing fixed and maintenance costs.  Moreover, the space for hawker centers is not enough, and it is difficult to accommodate new entrants.  Another reason is that most people in these families are now getting educated and seek better opportunities.

But one may still be able to enjoy the delights in food courts, which appear to be extensions of hawker centers.  In addition, the food offered, caters to people coming from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures.  So although, it may seem that the street food culture is on the decline, if you are looking for food, you will be able to authentic street food in hawker centers or food courts, but if you are looking for street food experience, it does not exit any more.

Sources: TheSunshineSon & Straitstimes.com 

 

 

Healthy eating for Singaporean Seniors

singapore health food

Seniors are believed to lose appetite in their aging years, and most seniors in Singapore are reported to be malnutritioned. Good nutrition should be of primary concern in advancing years: it pertains less medical and health insurance costs, and a longer, happier life.  

This does not suggest that seniors should start eating more, but a balanced, nutrient-nutrient filled diet is necessary for an active older life. Metabolic rate decreases with age, and does the ability to digest large portions and amounts of food. So it’s not only how much is eaten, but what. Here are some tips on choosing a healthy diet:

  • Choose brown rice and wholemeal bread for daily energy. This group of food is a rich source of nutrients, like B vitamins, folic acid, iron and copper, as well as high fiber. It prevents cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer. Four to six servings per day are recommended.

  • Two servings of fruit and vegetables are recommended for good health. More than 60 per cent of Singaporeans aged 50 to 59 years do not meet the dietary recommendations for fruit.  It goes even higher, 70 per cent, in the case of vegetables. The lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet is worrisome, because it reduces intake of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Apples and pears are recommended, along with pineapple, watermelon or papaya.  For vegetables, try to mix meat meals with greens, taking one portion of meat, and two portions of vegetables.

  • Meat, beans, fish and dairy should be taken three times a day. Surveys have shown that 40 per cent of Singaporeans aged 50 to 59 years and 50 per cent of Singaporeans aged 60 to 69 years are not meeting the dietary guidelines for this food group. Meat and alternatives are also a good source of B vitamins, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and iron. Lean meat is encouraged; vegetarians can go for tofu, beans and legumes

Eating healthy is as important as healthcare.  It is the most important preventive measure to avoid old age diseases and illnesses, and in turn results in less medical expenses. A friendly reminder for our senior readers – this is a good time to enroll for a Medicare plan and take full advantage of it. And who likes to be ill any way!

Sources: healthxchange.com.sg

 

A glance into Singapore Food history

Singapore Food History

In the famous book, Singapore Food by Wendy Hutton, he writes about how immigrants from China, Malaya, India, Indonesia, Europe, America and Middle East rushed to Singapore when British imperialist Thomas Stamford Raffles sought to convert Singapore into a trading post for the East India Company in 1819.

These immigrants brought with them unique and local cuisines.  These cuisines had a huge influence on the local food, and can still be found in some of the most famous Singaporean delights.  This is one on the reasons people from various cultures find Singaporean cuisine appealing.  The country is known for its multicultural dishes, which have also made their way into fine dining throughout the world.  Locally, of course, hawker stalls, are famous for selling specialties, which can only be found in a posh restaurants outside the country.

Traditional Singapore food is more likely to have Asian influence than from other parts of the world.  Hence, as is famous around Asian, this food is rich in ethnic and rare spices only found in Asia.  Herbs are important ingredients for most cuisines, and almost all the food cooked and eaten is organic.  So if your stomach can take a little bit of spice, this food is actually good for health.

The country cherishes its food, and serves it with the same love it makes it.  With a mix of traditional, adapted and modern cuisines, Singapore is today a famous destination for culinary experts and food lovers.  And come to think of it, as the Singaporeans will tell you, why else would you live than to eat!

Sources: bbc.com