Planet Food – Singapore – Travel Documentary

Singaporean cuisine is diverse and contains elements derived from several ethnic groups, as a result of its history as a seaport with a large immigrant population. Influences include the cuisines of the native Malays and the largest ethnic group, the Chinese, as well as Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan, and Western traditions (particularly English and Portuguese-influenced Eurasian, known as Kristang). Influences from other regions such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Middle East are also present.

In Singapore, food is viewed as crucial to national identity and a unifying cultural thread. Singaporean literature declares eating a national pastime and food a national obsession. Food is a frequent topic of conversation among Singaporeans. Religious dietary strictures do exist; Muslims do not eat pork and Hindus do not eat beef, and there is also a significant group of vegetarians. People from different communities often eat together, while being mindful of each other’s culture and choosing food that is acceptable for all.

Singaporean food is mostly based on Chinese cuisine, so when a person is first meeting with a new person they ask “Have you eaten?”. It is one way to express a greeting to another person. Also it is possible to assume that this is how Singaporeans think about the meal and food. Since Singapore is a mixed cultural nation there are a diverse range of people who might have different and restricted diets, such as Muslims, and Hindu’s (“Dining in Singapore”). In Singapore it is common to see Halal food and Muslims who are fasting in time of Ramadan. Since Singapore is influenced by so many different regions, religion, and areas, there are also many events or anniversaries. During Chinese Lunar new year people eat Nian Gao which is like a cake similar to Songpyeon in Korea’s lunar year (“Chinese New Year Cake”). “Singapore’s cuisine is as diverse as its culture. It’s an extension of Malay cuisine but influenced by the Chinese — not to mention the Indians, Arabs, British, and other settlers who have contributed to making Singapore one of the world’s most important trading ports” (Trinidad).

In big category of food, Singaporean food can be divided into five types: Meat, seafood, rice, noodles, and dessert. Seafood is very famous type of food in Singapore, Chili crab which is one of seafood cuisine in Singapore that was the most recommended food for tourists and also ranked one of the top 40 food in Singapore (Ling). Also one of the loving food in Singapore is called “Chicken rice”. Chicken rice is the oiled rice with boiled or steamed chicken on top with spicy soy sauce. Depends on the person’s preference person can add cucumber, garlic or chili as topping. The other food that represents the noodle which often called as “Singaporean noodle” but the actual name is “Fried Hokkien mee”. The noodle is based on egg and it is slightly fried. Depends on person’s preferences, person can add seafood, vegetable, or pork. Curry puff is like Indian style of scone in Singapore. It is about the size of dumpling and there are various things inside of the puff. It is well-known snack and also light meal.