Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Macau - Local Delights, Joint issued with Singapore 2008

Issue Name: Local Delights
Date of Issue : 04/07/2008
Designer : Thomas Au Man Hou, Carlos Gonçalves
Printing Quantity: 250,000
Stamps per sheet: 16
Paper: Paper with Security Fibres
Size: 40.5 x 30 mm
Perforation: 13¼ x 14
Printing: : Offset Lithography with Varnish
Printer: Joh. Enschedé Security Print, Netherlands
UPU/WADP Codes: MO024.08 – MO031.08

Local Delights

"People regard food of heaven". Macao people are no different.
Macao's cuisine originated from Guangdong. Cantonese cuisine started in Guangzhou, and has evolved both inn Hong Kong and Macao. These three places have influenced each other and thus are commonly and collectively known "Sheng, Gang, Ao" (Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao). Shunde is one of the most well-known amongst the 4 most famous cities in Southern Guangdong and Macao's Cantonese cuisine has been greatly influenced by the town of "Fengcheng" (Town of Daliang located in Shunde), the food of which is still one of the main types of Chinese cuisine eaten in Macao.

The Portugese have been in Macao for more than four hundred years and they eat cuisine from both the West and the East throughout Macao. Chinese and Western cuisine has merged together, leading to the emergency of the phrase "Fusion Cuisine". This has brought about the emergence of a local Portuguese-style cuisine. Thus, when talking about Macao cuisine , we are reffering to a Chinese-style cuisine with the inclusion of Western features, blending the two styles together and making a new and unique style; one which has become Macao's distinguishing feature.

"Yangzhou fried rice" - This type of rice did not originally come from Yangzhou, however, there have been disputes concerning its origins, which have made it famous throughout the world. It is made with egg, roast pork, beans and fresh prawns, which are all fried with rice. This dish can be made in plentiful or economical amounts, with as many or as little ingridients as desired by the customer. Since the Qing Dynasty, it has been popular in "Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao" and is a typical Cantonese dish. It has been included in the United Nations' Rice around the World in 300 Recipes.

"Crispy fried chicken" - A famous dish in Southern Guangdong and one which is renowned throughout the global Chinese community. The skin is crispy and the meat tender, a dish which is popular banquets. Guangdong people will not be satisfied without a chicken dish in their meals. Poached sliced chicken is also delicious; however, the Chinese do not like having something white in their banquets and thus this dish cannot be used in formal events. The skins of the crispy fired chicken is red while its meat is white, symbolizing good luck. People have called it "Golden Crispy Chicken", and therefore it has also become an important dish in banquets held by famous people.

"Clay pot rice" - Used to be cooked in charcoal stoves and earthen pots. It was traditionally considered a home-cooked dish. Nowadays, however, it appeals to refined tastes and has become a delicacy. It is cooked in pots, preferably with cured meats, and can also be served with chicken or other kinds of meat. This delicacy stimulates people's apetite. It was originally served only during the winter-time as a tonic, but is currently considered a dish for all seasons. The rice is savory and the crackling is crispy. Guangdong people like dipping the crackling into soup which then becomes another tasty dish similar to the Sichuan delicacy "Crispy Rice".

"Carne de porco a Alentejana" - A traditional Portuguese dish, "Carne de porco a Alentejana" combines two important elements of the Portuguese alimentary production.
- Pork, a centuries-old traditional product in rural areas, and constituting one of the basic foodstuffs of the Portuguese population, with a special emphasis on "black pork", produced in the Alentejo; a province which has given name to this dish and is also its place of origin.
- Clam, a bivalve, of a refined palate, and one of the elements of the rich maritime products from the seas enclosing the Portuguese coast, where the variety of fish and seafood, with their own typical aroma, give it its much-loved flavor.

So as to enhance the harmonious combination of the aroma from the pork, alongside that of the clams, typical seasonings included in Portuguese cuisine with Mediterranean characteristics, such as olive oil, white wine, garlic , bay leaves, and coriander are utilized in the preparation of this dish, resulting in a succulent, fresh and rich dish, with an assortment of aromas.
This dish is of quick and simple preparation and, alongside codfish, is one of the dishes of almost compulsory presence in Portuguese restaurants throughout the globe.

"Lombo de bacalhau braseado em lascas" - Codfish is the "king" of alimentary products, when talking about traditional Portuguese cuisine and has, along the centuries, been commonly known amongst the Portuguese as the "Loyal Friend". This affection for the codfish is a curious one, given that this fish, the bacalhau, which has been crowned the "king" in Portugal, is not found in the waters surrounding the Portuguese coast, and is in fact caught off the frigid waters of the northern Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Greenland and Iceland and Norway, being subsequently salted and dried in Portugal.
This dish, the "Lombo de bacalhau braseado em lascas", in addition to being roasted on the grill, is subsequently cut into slices, combining a host of elements found in traditional Portuguese cuisine: Potatoes roasted in theis skins, which keeps their earthly aroma and fragrance, corn bread (broa), turnip shoots, peppers, olives, garlic and coriander, all splashed with a hint of extra virgin olive oil, in a complex and harmonious amalgamation of aromas, resulting in an extremely pleasing image, sight being the first of the senses to "appreciate" food.
Its varied composition also make it an exemplary dish of Portuguese cuisine with Mediterranean flavors; balanced and healthy.
Portuguese cuisine include dozens of different recipes for the preparation of codfish. There is no Portuguese restaurant worthly of this designation which does not include at least one codfish dish in its menus, always "sprinkled" with excellent Portuguese olive oil. The restaurant in the Macau Military Club is no exception, and distinguishes itself by having an entire section of its menu devoted exclusively to codfish dishes.

Singapore is a food paradise offering a myriad of delectable choices. Food of all kinds originated from different cultural backgrounds, presenting their own unique characteristics. It is also one of the attractions that entice tourists when they visit Singapore as its food reflects the very best of this multicultural island.

"Roti Prata" - This dish is like a fried croissant, originating from South Indian. The wheat flour that is used makes a dough that can be tossed and stretched till it is paper thin.
Then it is folder over a few times, to create separate layers. The result is a many-layered partly crispy partly soft pancake that resembles filo pastry. Roti is the Malay word for bread.
The pancake is fried on a hot, oily griddle until it's cooked, and marked with brown spots, then served with curry gravy.
For some who do not like it spicy, instead of eating their Prata with curry, they sprinkle sugar over the Prata and turn it into a savoury-sweet pancake. Prata is a popular choice for breakfast and supper.
It may have originated from India but it was here that flavoured dought and the very visual stretching and twirling were introduced, to create this famous dish. One can choose from an array of flavours - plain, onion, egg, tissue (with super-thin layers) and many others. It can also be served with ice-cream or cheese.

"Hainanese chicken rice" - A dish that began as a common peddler's ware, its origin came from Hainan, an island off the southern coast of China. The arrival of this dish in Singapore probably evolved through the Hainanese immigrants in the region and gained from local influences in terms of preparation.
The rich flavour of the rice comes from the grains that have been pre-fried in chicken fat and then cooked in chicken broth. The chicken is steamed until it is just cooked with a little pink remaining on the flesh near the bones. It is usually accompanied with a chili sauce made up of chillies, chicken broth, garlic, and ginger. A thick broth of chicken stock garnished with a sprinkle of spring onions is also a must.

"Laksa" - An exciting concoction of noodles made from flour in a curry like gravy made of spices, herbs, dried shrimp, coconut milk and chilli. It is served with slices of fishcakes, prawns, and cockles.
This dish may have come to Singapore in one version but true to form, the different races and dialect groups added and substracted ingredients. What began as a spicy peanut based gravy evolved into today's version, combination of Chinese, Malay, and mostly Peranakan influences.

"Satay" - Satay are small bite-sized pieces of chicken, mutton and beef are steeped in a sweet-spicy marinate, strung along wooden skewers and roasted over coals. These are served with peanut sauce for dipping, and fresh cucumbers, raw onion and steamed rice cakes on the side. Tracing its origins to the Arabs, the satay today has adapted to the multi-cultural palates of Asians with various spicy sauces and different ways of marinating the meats.
Satay is cooked over charcoal grill and as it cooks, it release a wonderful aroma that is sweet and savoury and meaty all at the same time. And in the days of street hawkers this aroma was the Satay man's calling call as the lovely smell of grilling satay would have preceeded him.

"Chilli crab" - Singapore's unofficial "national dish" and a fovourite at seafood restaurants! With hearty gravy made from fresh red chillies, tomato sauce, fresh eggs and spring onions, Chilli Crabs are best eaten with your fingers. Let the gravy run down your arm, clean it up with cubes of French bread or Chinese buns (know as mantou), that are served as side dish.

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