NANYANG Technological University - Para Limes, Singapore

Conference: East of West, West of East

17 - 19 October 2016

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Speaker: Georges M. Halpern, MD, PhD 

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Cuisines of the World Unite could have been the slogan started by Richard Wing when he launched his Chinois on Main in the 1960s in Santa Monica, CA. In fact a brief review of Food History shows that a common core is what the human (Neanderthals, Denisovans, Sapiens) race has eaten and is built upon. And if we were to select one place where Fusion Cuisine is omnipresent it is…Singapore!

A few critical features of food(s) that we eat are: - we eat (mostly) cooked food: safe, tender, easier to digest and delivering more energy, tastier, storable - we only eat what we like - we only eat what we can afford - we only eat what matches our genes, and those of our digestive microbiota - some foods are very culture specific, but Chinese cuisines adopted and incorporated numerous foods from Central and South America. With rare exceptions eating is a familial/social necessity and important ritual that cements the inter-personal links. Table manners are part of these rituals.

If we want to understand other cultures we just have to share authentic meals.

We are all humans.

Bon Appétit!

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