Friday, January 07, 2011

What Grass Jelly Really Is...

If you have always wondered what makes "cincau" or "leong fan" (Cantonese) or grass jelly, this post will definitely enlighten you. It's from a plant called the Mesona with shiny leaves.

Unlike "gwai ling kou" which I have associated with tortoises and their carapaces, grass jelly is less scary.
The grass jelly drink is very common in Malaysia. It consists of black chewy jelly-like bits in syrupy sweet water which also gets its dark tinge from the grass jelly. Usually served cold with ice, this drink is a thirst quencher on hot days. It also helps 'cool' the body especially if one gets too heaty.

Although it is a typically Chinese drink, many other races in Malaysia drink this too. For instance, Malays mix cincau with soya bean milk to make a sweet thirst quencher when they break fast during the fasting month. In fact, Yeo's usually sell their soya bean drink (1 liter tetrapack) with a can of cincau drink so you can mix them up at home!

Of course, over-indulging in cool drinks like cincau is not good. Moderation is the key. But at least,
now I know where my cincau comes from!
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