A grown-up Easter treasure hunt
If Easter is anything to go by, I must've been a pretty pragmatic kid growing up. Every year, the shelves of neighbourhood expat supermarkets would suddenly be swamped by technicolour foil-wrapped bunnies, ribbon-and-laced baskets of miniature chocolate eggs and elaboratedly packaged egg-decorating kits. I understood the basic premise, that the Easter Bunny would hide said chocolate eggs and other assorted candies under the garden hedge, which we would then discover to our greedy delight, but this really didn't make much sense to me.
First off, you never see wild bunnies in Singapore. The Easter Iguana maybe, even the Easter Sewer Rat, but never an Easter Bunny.
Next, even if the Easter Bunny had journeyed via some underground trans-Pacific tunnel to my sunny shores, would he really know to go to Tierney's to buy his chocolate eggs? If he did, why didn't I ever see him at the checkout? Or at least, hear about him from the ladies in the butchery section who always seemed to have tons to report when my mom surveyed the latest cuts? Surely the appearance of a rabbit, buying a trolleyload of chocolate (does he pay by Amex?), would be worth sharing?
Third, we didn't have a garden hedge. A bunch of trees, yes, and a miniature botanical garden of potted pots, but what on earth was a hedge? Even if we planted one in anticipation, wouldn't it be rather unhygienic to leave food there - what about the 30 degree heat? the ants? Sure, free chocolate's great, but not if it's half melted and covered in assorted creepy crawlies!
And so I came to a simple and natural conclusion - let me buy my own chocolate, and eat it when I want, how I want. And let that right not be limited to Easter, but apply daily and in perpetuity.
All the same, I have to admit that the thought of gaining a hoard of edible treats - that a designated weekend equates to an entitlement to vast amounts of good food - was a bit tough to pass up this year. And so off I went to Culina, one of Singapore's top importers of fine foods, for this year's grown-up Easter egg hunt.
Amidst the seemingly 30 varieties of olive oil, mountains of cheese and assorted dry snacks, I finally settled on the following:
- A jar of dried morels
- A bottle of passionfruit vinegar
- A little bottle of Tetsuya's Black Truffle Salsa (Chubby Hubby has raved about this on several occasions, so thought I'd find out what the fuss was about)
- 2 vanilla pods
- 4 100g slabs of Michel Cluizel Concepcion/Venezuela chocolate
- A jar of Bonne Maman rhubarb jam (inspired by Keiko's recent rhubard post)
- A mini tub of rendered duck fat
And my own personal favourite, a can of Clement Faugier's Creme de Marrons de l'Ardeche. Apparently, this chestnut puree is French kitchen staple, and is great dolloped on yoghurt or spread on a warm crepe. The can alone is tres charmant, non?
Sharing Culina's Park House premises is an organic supermarket aptly named SuperNature. I figured I owed it to the generations of intrepid Easter treasure hunters to pop in and look around, even if I don't have any particular philosophical inclinations towards organic food. I mean, I think it's noble and all but honestly, $13 for a pack of organic barley?
Still, I managed to find a handful of fun stuff to try:
- A bottle of Thorncroft Pink ginger cordial. The thought of mixing this with ice cold sparkling water on a warm Sunday afternoon by the pool was impossible to resist.
- A pack of spelt grains, for the day that I venture to try Alain Soliveres' spelt risotto.
- A pack of Annie's Homegrown Rice Pasta and Cheddar (i.e. mac and cheese). Mac and cheese from a box always seems a bit vile, with all the artificial flavourings and preservatives, but this seemed fairly healthy. Plus it has a Rabbit of Approval, how much more befitting of an Easter theme could this be?
Tasting reports to come soon!
21 Orchard Boulevard
Tel: 6735 8858
Mon-Sat: 10am-8pm; Sun: 10am-6pm
21 Orchard Boulevard
Tel: 6735 4338
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat: 10am-7pm; Wed, Fri: 10am-8pm; Sun: 11am-6pm