Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sweeter than a Plate of Yams with Extra Syrup

To be concise, Malaysia likes its sweet and sugary. When it comes to drinks and food the sweet is on. Big time. The drinks are loaded with enough sweetness that I imagine consuming too many per day would probably wreak havoc on my teeth's enamel over the long haul (and I gotta keep the chompers in solid condition cause for once in my life, right before we left Tucson, my mouth was deemed a 'no new cavity' zone).

But back to business. This blog post isn't to complain about the sweet, cause the truth is: I'm a huge fan. So much of a fan in fact that Alli is already harping on me to cool out on my sweet drink consumption and bring it down a few. I know she's right, but I'm stubborn.

Nestle Milo: chocolate powder awesomeness. You basically can dunk like that dude once you down a few cups.
The thing is the drinks are glorious and a lot are coffee flavored and such, so you know I'm a sucker. My favorite so far is the Neslo Ice. This concoction is Nescafe (yup the instant coffee crystals), Milo (chocolate powder), sweet milk (of the condensed variety) and sugar. You got that? Top it off with some ice cubes and whammo!, taste explosion party is on. Straight up Milo Ice is on point too, as it tastes like yummy cold chocolate milk. You also can get tea with sweet milk in it (amazing!) and a variety of juice drinks, such as Iced Lime Juice (with real limes and some generous spoonfuls of sugar).

Now some of you who know me probably are aware I'm kind of a coffee snob. Alli would say that's an understatement. It's true: I prefer my coffee whole-bean and with buckets of flavor. I also look for certain traits that are ripe for a Portlandia sketch: shade-grown, organic, fair trade, etc. A hefty red tub of Folgers was never to be found in any of my recent U.S. residences.

Am I drinking this liquid swill in Malaysia!?! You must read my words to find out!
But then I'm moved to Malaysia and the game done changed. It's mostly instant coffee round here, mixed into the delectable combos I described above. That was hard for me to deal with, the instant coffee part. Straight up that stuff mostly tastes like sawdust and cardboard dipped in a 13 day old pot of coffee. But when mixed with condensed milk (we'll see if Alli will make me a Tres Leche cake for my birthday comin' up here!) and other sweet treats, it's on! I bought a few bags of delicious coffee in Singapore but they didn't last long.

Soon I was tapping into the tub o' Folgers and drinking it alone while crying crouched behind the chicken coop. No it wasn't that bad. I now love Malaysian coffee, chocolate and tea drinks. It's just different. I've even started drinking tea! The coffee drinks are like iced versions of those fake cappuccino machines gas stations have. I always had a massive weak spot for those.

The real best part of waking up is a slow dribble of sweet milk in your cup. Poppin' tops!
So let it be known Malaysia's got quite the sweet tooth. I didn't even ramble on about the food (sweet baked beans, sweet sauces, it's lovely), maybe another time. It's interesting to note though that a lot of the time I was drinking so-called good coffee in Tucson, the beans hailed from Indonesia or East Timor (tack on those carbon miles! More Portlandia fodder). Now that I'm neighboring these countries I can't even find their coffee here. The globalized marketplace is a strange beast. It reminds me of something Alfred Russell Wallace (the kick-ass field biologist) said in his natural history travelogue 'The Malay Archipelago.' He always wondered why when in countries that produced lots of coffee one could never get a decent cup of it. He might have came up with the idea of evolution, but unfortunately for him, he never had a Neslo Ice on a warm evening.

P.S. - Shout out to whoever can tell what song I'm quoting in this blog's title...


  1. Outkast - SpottieOttieDopaliscious from the album "Aquemini"


    1. Wow Mom! Congrats on getting that one. I'm guessing an Internet search engine helped you with the answer. Because while I know you've enjoyed some of my My Morning Jacket records in the past, I'm pretty sure we never listened to Outkast together. Bonus points for the album title too!