A new category: Ruam mit

I’m introducing a new category of entries: “ruam mit,” which in Thai, literally means ‘a gathering of friends’. But the term is most often used on menus to indicate a medley, i.e. “Tom Yum Ruam Mit” means tom yum soup with a combination of seafood: shrimp, fish and squid. “Pad pak ruam mit” is what else, a a stir fry of various veggies.

In this blog, it will mean an entry that covers diverse topics.

“Hayeh Kezeh,” Chairman Kaga would announce after unveiling the secret theme ingredient, setting the Iron Chef and his challenger sprinting to select their specimens. I always assumed “Hayeh Kezeh” was Japanese for “Ready, set, go!” Only when I watched “Iron Chef America” did I understand what the Chairman had been saying all along, “Allez cuisine!” I guess that’s French for “To the kitchen!”

I wonder how many chefs auditioned to be “Iron Chef America?” It would have been interesting to see Emeril Lagasse as one of them. Or a woman: how about Martha Stewart?

Casey emailed me a very thoughtful response on my last entry, where I talked about how surprised that Japan had criticised the Japanese who had been taken hostage. He mentioned something that had been missing from the news articles: that there were many young Japanese who went abroad in a quest to learn about and contribute to the world outside of Japan, but many people in Japan thought of them as non-conformist oddballs, i.e. why didn’t they stay home and contribute to Japanese institutions and Japanese society instead.

It made me think of the Peace Corps, and that America was the first country to start a national program to encourage American individuals to go abroad and help others for humanitarian purposes (education, health, infrastructure, etc), as well as to gain exposure to other societies and cultures. [If it had been three American Peace Corps or aid workers kidnapped, they would have come home with as much of a hero’s welcome as Private Lynch. ] Misguided American foreign policies have been implemented on a political/military basis (Haiti, Iraq, etc), making me cringe in shame on behalf of my government, but the existence of the Peace Corps makes me proud to be American, and thankful that I’m not Japanese.

One thought on “A new category: Ruam mit

  1. I think Iron Chef America was just trying to get the pilot episode off the ground. And chose the Iron Chefs by visibility/popularity to get Nielsons. All three were very well know due to either Cable shows or previous reputation (Puck). Thank God martinyan wasn’t one of them. If I had to choose a woman iron chef, it would be Alice Water of Chez Pannise. Pretty much everyone knows her. (i hope.)

    I wonder if they are going to keep the three initial iron chefs? As I recall they didn’t really give them a specialty title as in the Original Iron Chef, unless I missed it. Would be interesting to see top young chefs compete: I hope they continue the series.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s