Singapore Adventure

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Get Some Hot Soup In Ya, Sonny
by venitha

Hot soups are served everywhere in Singapore: spicy tôm yam and peppery hot and sour. Seafood steamboats simmer atop an open flame, and sides of steaming broth accompany the ubiquitous chicken rice. To me, hot soup's popularity here is baffling. In this climate, shouldn't we all be enjoying chilled gazpacho and cool creamy vichyssoise?

I know from our travels here that Singapore comes by this penchant honestly. Hot soup is part of Asian cuisine everywhere, so it isn't like Singapore went, "Oh, man, is it hot. Let's invent soup." Though oddly, when pressed about its popularity, the locals do claim it helps them handle the torrid weather.

"Who knew it was possible to make soup so hot?" I complained to Jim as I scalded the roof of my mouth yet again. Patience may be a virtue, but it is not one of mine. Like the tootsie roll owl, I may never learn how many seconds - no, minutes - of blowing on a steaming spoonful of soup is required before pain-free consumption.

"Well, soup is hotter here."

I gasped. By jove, he's right!

A quick search on the web reveals that the boiling point of water at sea level is about 10°F higher in Singapore than in Colorado. Alas, the same does not hold true for the freezing point of water, so there go my hopes of Singapore's transformation into a winter wonderland the next time it hits its record low: 66°F.

But some hot soup might then hit the spot.