Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Four Great Inventions of Ancient China

By Edwin Tan (c) 2009

"By the 9th century Chinese alchemists searching for an elixir of immortality had serendipitously stumbled upon sweet and sour sauce. The Chinese "Kan Tong Yum" written by Emperor Kan-Tong in 1044 provides encyclopedia references to a variety of mixtures which included vinegar, sugar and pineapple. Academics such as Mars and Nestle argue the Chinese wasted little time in applying sweet and sour sauce to their cuisine, and they produced a variety of dishes, including sweet and sour pork; sweet and sour chicken; and sweet and sour fish, before inventing little sweet and sour sauce sachets which were to be distributed by McDonalds and Hungry Jacks et al."

The following video is an excerpt from the controversial documentary "The Origins of Kan Tong Sweet and Sour":

Catchy tune!

Ok, stupid non-factual spiel over. The fourth is actually papermaking. I had no idea the Chinese invented all these things...except maybe for the gun powder. Anyway, I don't care what anyone says, I do like sweet and sour pork, lemon chicken, honey chicken and fried rice. I also like prawn crackers but the waiter never seems to give us any when we go to the restaurant. Hmm...

I've never actually tried the Kantong Asian sauces range, so can't really tell you if they're any good or not. But apparently "you can't go wrong with Kantong". So it should be good. Here's their website.

And finally, I will leave you with these wise words from Confucius:
"Mama's making Kantong, it doesn't take long, for the word to spread around..."

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