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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Teh Tarik: A Malaysian's Cup of Tea

One popular drink in Malaysia is the 'Teh Tarik' which is enjoyed by the multiracial community of this nation. 'Teh Tarik' is a Malay term for 'pulled tea'. Malaysians have this culture we call the 'Mamak Culture' whereby we like to catch up with each other over a cup of Teh Tarik at Mamak Stalls. A.S. would not elaborate on what a mamak stall is but do check out the link to Wikipedia's explanation which shall answer all your queries.

Malaysians love their Teh Tarik so much that each time if you happen to be at a Mamak Stall or any other eating places, you'd hear them ordering Teh Tarik. It is basically English tea sweetened with Sweetened Condensed Milk (SCM) and pulled (pouring from a mug into another from a height repeatedly to mix resulting in froth). YES, the SCM is used in Coffee too and this, we call 'Kopi Tarik'.

A Teh-C  is another favourite and instead of using the SCM, it is English tea sweetened with sugar and creamed with Evaporated Milk (Evap). This is A.S's favourite as to her, the Teh Tarik is a little too sweet for her taste. YES, the Evap can be used for coffee as well and Malaysians call it 'Kopi-C'.

Catching up over Teh Tarik...

Picture courtesy of F&N's official webpage. This is an example from the SCM range. It is basically recombined milk which had undergone the evaporation process to suck out excess water content resulting in thick viscous milk with nearly 50% sugar content.

Picture courtesy of F&N's official webpage. This is an example from the Evap range. It is basically recombined milk with additional palmolein/butterfat and insignificant amount of sugar. This product undergoes the sterilization process to extend its shelf life due to the low sugar content.

When A.S. was in The States, the SCM and Evap was not widely used. Everyday, at her host family's home in Seattle, Washington State, it was the 1 lit or 2 lit  fresh milk in plastic bottles for cereal or direct consumption. On top of that, the family always had a pack of the Half & Half for coffee (fresh home ground and brewed ones).

Picture courtesy of Darigold's official webpage. What A.S understands is the name Half and Half means it is 50% skimmed milk (non fat portion of milk) with recombined another 50% of cream. If it had any sugar content, it would be very, very insignificant as it tasted naturally sweet. Since it is only pasteurized(High Temperature,Short Time, in short, HTST removal of bacteria), unlike the SCM or Evap, an unopened pack must not be stored at room temperature. A.S would say it's used the same way as Evap with optional sugar into your beverage but the overall taste is different compared to Evap because of the milk formulation between the 2.

Last but not least, how do you find A.S's explanation???

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