Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Let's all have a nice cup of... cold, boiled water.

Drinking cold, boiled water or 'doong gwun sueh' in Cantonese seems to be a uniquely Chinese practice that you may or may not have picked up from your parents.

Maybe like me you have childhood memories of a large, metallic, family vacuum flask with its mysterious, mirrored interior that always contained surprisingly hot water.

There are a number of benefits to drinking cold, boiled water. First is the lack of impurities and bugs (something that is more important in Asia than here in the U.K.). Second, it is a neutral alternative to stimulant-laden tea or coffee and third, it is believed to be a 'cooling' ('lerng') drink that can counteract the effects of 'hot air' that Chinese people say some foods contain (look out for a future post on the whole concept of hot and cooling foods or 'yeet hey').

There is something strangely appealing about cold, boiled water. It does have a taste. And when you drink it, it feels like it's doing you good. Or maybe it's just the taste of nostalgia, and memories of that old flask on the family dining table.

Of course, there is one major downside to having a cup of cold, boiled water: You can't dunk your biscuits in it (I know, I've tried).

1 comment:

applegrass said...

Definitely nostalgia. I vote for cold water kept in the fridge myself!