Made in Singapore

Text and photography by Elodie Bellegarde

My grandparents were farmers. They had a farm in the middle of a forest in the South West of France, growing corn, raising pigs, ducks and chickens and living from their own food products. I won’t develop further on the wine my granddad made in his spare time, fault of not being his greatest achievement. The fields and their vegetable plot were our playground. Meals were all homemade and locally sourced. The bread would be baked by the fireplace and the milk unpasteurised, straight from the cow, providing us with all the goodness and taste of unprocessed food commodities. As my grandparents got older, the vegetable plot became smaller and only a few hens were kept to provide them with just enough eggs for their personal consumption. The supermarket slowly became our playground with all its colourful and foreign foods.

I am now a little older and my taste and interests have changed. I understand that it is next to impossible to be a 100% locavore here in Singapore. I accept it but I believe that one can eat better and more sustainably if one is willing to. While we may not be surrounded by endless rolling hills and an unlimited supply of free range chickens and eggs, we can observe a slow but meaningful shift in what we consume. A small (but increasingly larger) number of food lovers are turning their attention and efforts into creating “Made In Singapore” food products. To try some of them, you’ll need to do this over breakfast.

Parents praise breakfast as the most important meal of the day. Such a consideration surely deserves some distinction. Breakfast cereals and granola in particular are top of the list. Being a rather experimental and versatile base to any tasty and wholesome breakfast, it is no surprise that a handful of food projects and companies have turned their attention towards the good. A few local brands have indeed created some enchanting products with some bold enough to add chilli to their mixes, quite possibly as a response to Singapore’s love for a spicy kick. And when topped with a pouring of freshly-made-on-our-island almond milk, the vegan-friendly, deliciously fragrant breakfast bowl suddenly turns the mundane into the extravagant.

Read more in The U Press N˚8 (Singapore edition).