2010年2月25日 星期四

【生活小品】做饅頭


生活是點滴累積起來的記憶,最平凡的事情往往記得最深切,對於喜歡吃東西的人來說,這就是味道。對很多人來說,吃遍大江南北後,自己家的味道還是最特別的,將情感的記憶聯繫起來。

前陣子讀了妙莉葉.芭貝里(Muriel Barbery)的《終極美味》(Une Gourmandise),書中六十八歲的美食家,被作者宣判只剩四十八小時的生命去尋找「終極美味」。在經歷一連串的味覺反思後,總算知道了屬於他的終極美味,不過就是超市裡頭尋常不過的油炸果。那是他小時候的味道。小說的最後一句是這麼說的:

重要的不是吃到它,也不是活下去,而是知道為什麼。以父、以子、以油炸果之名,阿門。我要死了。
--- p. 173


韓良露為這本《終極美味》寫了一篇很棒的導讀,就借用她的文字來描寫那種深刻的回憶。

透過美食評論家的回憶,我們逐漸發現,讓他念念不忘的美味回憶,都是一些比較家常、簡單、平凡的食物,但難得的是和這些食物聯絡的一些人情。祖母的美味和祖母對孫子的愛有關,陌生人的熱情和善意、美食大廚對自己祖母的懷念、酒農對至友的友誼......從來不是美食的學問、價錢、等級。
--- p. 9


鼎泰豐的小籠包、西門町的阿忠麵線、屏東的萬巒豬腳、北斗的肉圓、度小月的擔仔麵......,這些外國人來台灣必定帶他們去吃的道地美食,卻未必敵得過兒時記憶中的味道。這個味道可能是煮不熟的飯、莫名其妙的年糕、烤焦的山豬肉,或是其他奇奇怪怪的東西。可是那個味道只屬於你,存在你最私密的記憶中。

我們家對吃不太講究,可是在家裡卻有一道叫做「人間美味」的菜。這道菜不過是各種菇類與青菜的大雜燴,可是卻有種不知道該怎麼形容的好味道。那種滋味,只能存在於腦海當中,只有在那樣的氛圍當中才能感受得到。

DSC_0549

現在我老爸又要創造一個味道——自製饅頭。根據墓碑考古的結果,我們在大陸的老家位於福建省永定縣,應該算是吃米飯的江南。可不知為何緣故,我老爸卻很喜歡麵食。牛肉餡餅、抓餅、蔥油餅、小籠包、豆沙包、牛肉麵、大滷麵、酸辣麵、炸醬麵等等,他都愛不釋手。

我老爸一直很喜歡饅頭,特別是那種有嚼勁的饅頭。可惜常去的那家饅頭店老闆身體開始有狀況,讓他常常撲了個空。也不知道怎麼開始的,某一天就在死蓋皮(Skype)上展示他做的饅頭,還去為此去買了一麻布袋的麵粉。常常是三分鐘熱度的他,這次是玩真的!

過年回家的期間,老爸做了好多次饅頭,上台北時還讓我帶了十個。我分了四餐把它們吃完。儘管現在的形狀和味道還不到位,卻讓他在找尋味道的路徑上踏進了一步。這麼說或許不大對,搞不好我老爸已經在創造「他」的味道。

DSC_0550

趁著老爸做饅頭的時候,我拿著老爸的DV記錄下這段生活小品,並且用最簡單的方式呈現。這段影片只是生活記錄,而不是做饅頭的教學影帶。如果想要饅頭食譜的話,可以聯絡我老爸,相信他會很樂意提供的。


[Life Comedy] Make Mantou (steamed bread)

Life is an accumulation of memories. The ordinary is tended to be remembered the most. For those who like to eat, this is taste. After trying every flavor all over the world, most people regard the most delicious as their homemade flavor, which bridges heir affections and memories.

In Muriel Barbery's Une Gourmandise (Gourmet Rhapsody), a 68-year-old gourmet has only 48 hours to find his "ultimate delicious" in the end of his life. After a serious reflections on his tongue, he finally realized the ultimate delicious is nothing precious but ordinary fried cookies in the supermarket. That is the memorized flavor in his childhood. The last paragraph in the novel is like this:

What counts is not about eating, nor living, but about knowing the reason why. In the name of Father, Son, and fried cookies. Amen. I am going to die.
--- p. 173 (in the Chinese translation version)


Han, liang-lu wrote a great introduction of Une Gourmandise. Let me just quote her words in describing those profound memories.

Through gourmet's memories, we gradually realized that delicious memories are about those casual, simple, and ordinary food. What precious were the links among food and affection: grandma's love and dishes, strangers' goodwill and hospitality, chef's cherished memory of grandma, wine maker's friendship, and ...... Nothing is about knowledge, value, and rating of food.
--- p. 9 ( in the Chinese translation version)


Taiwanese cuisines in the tourist guide book -- Din Tai Fung Dumpling, Ah-Zhong noodles, Wanluan pig's knuclkles, Beidou meatballs, Duxiaoyu noodle, and .... -- are not always the cherished taste memories in the childhood. The taste probably came from rare-cooked rice, inexplicable rice cake, burned pork, or some other weird dishes. However, the taste belong to you, and only you, in the most secret memory.

My family do not pay much attention to food, but we do have a "Royal Delicious." The dish is just a hodgepodge of all kinds of mushrooms and vegetables. However, the delightful taste is beyond any description. Because the taste can exist only in mind, and you won't feel anything if you're in the right atmosphere.

Homemade mantou (steamed bread), a new family flavor is now made by my Dad. It's strange. According to the tombstone text, my family history can be traced to Yongding County, Fujian Province in mainland China, where should be a rice preferred area. Still, my father love all kinds of foods made from wheat: beef pies, cakes, green onion pancake, steamed pork dumplings, dousa bao, beef noodles, spicy and sour noodles, and so on.

Mantou is alway my Dad's favorite. He is even a regular customer of a specific shop. Unfortunately, the shop owner got an ill body recently. So my Dad often rushed to empty. Maybe this is the reason why he started to make mantou on his own. One day, to my surprise, he showed a photo of his handmade mantou to me. In order to make these mantous, he bought a sack of flour. Often in a brief period of enthusiasm, my Dad showed his determination this time. He means it!

During the Chinese New Year vacation, Dad made lots of mantous. I brought 10 with me while going back to Taipei and trying to finish them in four meals. Although those mantous look not quite right and taste not very well, my dad has moved forward in the seek of his memory. Or, Maybe, he is now establishing his own taste.

I took my Dad's DV to record this life comedy while he is busy making moutou. I tried to present this in the most simple way. Still, this documentary is just a life piece, not a teaching video tape. If you are interesting in how to make mantou, just tell my Dad. He would be glad to share his secret to you.

6 則留言 :

  1. 真是想念人間美味。老爸要開始事業第二春了嗎~gogogo!!!

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  2. 你爸看起來都沒老也,饅頭麵團很重的,揉得動真是不簡單

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  3. 麵團.... 沒有那麼重吧!哈哈!

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  4. 揉麵團的確需要力氣更需要技術。
    你爸已成功的做出家鄉的味道。
    親友們有口福了。哈!!!

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  5. did you dad finally master how to make mantou? I came across your blog while searching for mantou recipe. :) wondering if he's able to finally make it. :)

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    1. well.... not "master".
      It's much firm than those from professional mantou shop, I think.
      But those are "mantous", and they are eatable.

      If you like it, I could ask my dad for the recipe.

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