Five spices

February 27, 2009

I will again be in Hong Kong (or possibly in transit to Singapore) for my birthday again this year. In previous years this has involved a visit to the 7s, but this year that weekend involves the EDF semi-finals so I am staying in the UK and flying out on Sunday. The reason for the visit is a KM conference where I am one of five speakers in what looks to be an interesting event. Details here for those interested. The other speakers are all old friends and there is enough that we have in common, as well as sufficient difference to make for an interesting day. The organisers are referring to us collectively as the five spices, an explanation of which follows. Suggestions as to who is who on the back of an envelope (in this day and age a tweet or a comment) please.

Apologies for the absence of blogs recently, too many projects requiring my attention and I am very tired. Hopefully the long awaiting blog on scenario planning will happen today or on the weekend. Almost finished now.

Five-spice powder is a seasoning in Chinese cuisine. One common recipe includes tunghing or “Chinese cinnamon” (also known as rougui, the ground bark of the cassia tree, a close relative of true cinnamon), powdered cassia buds, powdered star anise and anise seed, ginger root, and ground cloves. Another recipe for the powder consists of huajiao (Sichuan pepper), bajiao (star anise), rougui (cassia), cloves, and fennel seeds. It is used in most recipes for Cantonese roasted duck, as well as beef stew. It is also used as a marinade for Vietnamese broiled chicken. The five-spice powder mixture has followed the Chinese diaspora and has been incorporated into other national cuisines throughout Asia.

The formulae are based on the Chinese philosophy of balancing the yin and yang in food

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