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In Asia, Be Prepared That Your Salad Won't Be Served Chilled

Nevertheless, hope springs eternal

By Victoria Kjos Published 2 months ago 3 min read
In Asia, Be Prepared That Your Salad Won't Be Served Chilled
Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

I ADORE salads!

If one can be a salad aficionado, I qualify. I can live solely on salads. Every day. Any kind. All varieties. Every international cuisine.

Raised in my youth until I left for college in a small midwestern town in the States, my mother was an avid gardener. Our meals always consisted of vegetables from it. And, a basic salad was another staple of daily meals.

Hence, happily, I've always adored vegetables and especially salads as I grew into adulthood.

I love them all.

Simple greens with a few veggies and lovely oil and vinaigrette? Absolutely fine.

One exploding with shrimp or crab, hard-boiled eggs, plus anything else? Even better.

Fruits only? Perfect.

My mother's seven-layer (five for me, sans onions and bacon) family favorite? The best!

Tuna Nicoise. Transported to heaven.

Tabouli? Love it.

Greek salad with feta and kalamata olives? My mouth waters.

Classic Italian salad? Of course.

Coleslaw? Adore it.

Andrew Weil's/True Kitchen "Tuscan Kale Salad?" My Numero Uno, it's unbeatable, and noshable for days because it doesn't wilt.

[Google this recipe, fellow salad lovers. I've yet to serve it at any dinner party where every guest didn't want the recipe].

Plop any salad in front of me, and I'm the happiest of happy campers.

The only problem is that I greatly dislike (I'm trying to eliminate "hate" from my vocabulary, but this task qualifies) preparing them. I never admitted this, though, because it's seemingly the ultimate height of laziness, yes?

One day my older sister - surprisingly because she always serves fabulous ones at family dinners - said precisely the same, "I really like salads, but I hate making them." Perhaps it's part of our family DNA!

Home food delivery is the obvious solution. Where I reside, GoJek and Grab are the equivalent of Postmates or UberEats in the United States. Both companies know me exceedingly well. A favorite nearby restaurant so frequently delivers quiche - also a fave - with a lovely salad that it's on my "automatic reorder" slate.

Looking at the photo, it's perfectly lovely, isn't it? A variety of fresh greens, shredded carrots, shredded beets, tomatoes, carrots, and other veggies all served with a delightful tahini balsamic dressing.

The only problem is that I like - and expect from where I was raised - that my salads will be chilled. No such luck!

On occasion, I order a fruit salad as well, saving the greens for later and eating fruit with my quiche. Yep, sadly, the fruit salad is unchilled also.

Despite living many years abroad, I still forget, though. As my taste buds excitedly savor that first delectable bite, it's the same disappointment: "Oh, that's right, it's warm."

Hope springs eternal, though. One day...I absolutely know…some restaurant, somewhere in Asia, will serve me a chilled salad. But not today.

Alas, I eat a few bites and pop it in the fridge for later.

In writing frequently about differences, and sometime challenges, of living in foreign countries, this is one.

Any salad, even in higher-end restaurants, will be delivered at room temperature. It's the same throughout Mexico, India, and Indonesia. Refrigerators aren't the behemoth beasts as today's models in modern Western countries. Vegetables aren't typically refrigerated. Cooks and restaurants buy produce daily to serve families and customers as required that day.

In India, after living on local baby-food consistency cuisine for months, I recall the utter glee of noting "salad" included as one item of a thali or another traditional meal.

An Indian salad consists of one leaf of iceberg lettuce, a shred of carrot, or a tomato. Talk about brutal initial disappointment!

Your time is valuable. Thanks for spending some of it here.


© Victoria Kjos. All Rights Reserved. 2024.

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About the Creator

Victoria Kjos

I love thinking. I respect thinking. I respect thinkers. Writing, for me, is thinking on paper. I shall think here. My meanderings as a vagabond, seeker, and lifelong student. I'm deeply honored if you choose to read any of those thoughts.

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