Teh tarik,Penang mai!
by Kelvin Liew Peng Chuan
(Tanjong Tokong, Penang, Malaysia)
Farid, the Kedahan enjoying teh tarik at Mak Bedah's stall at UDA flats,Tanjong Tokong.
Yup, that's how a true blue anak Penang would pronounce teh tarik..all the 'ri's in Bahasa Baku would be 'gh' in Penang,and most parts of the northern states.
Well, as the title suggests..there's something different about teh tarik..made in Penang... it's not only in the way they say it you see...
What's teh tarik? It's simply English tea with milk and the tarik action literally translated as pulling that makes the bubbly froth in your cup of tea..yet don't let the froth fool you into believing it is a successful cup of teh tarik!
The froth is just the perfect 'form'. Yes,of course the froth pleases the eyes and induces you to salivate..yet,the taste is what that gives the final satisfaction.
Not too sweet, not too creamy..the old timers make it best like the Nasi Kandar Restaurant, Raffi (in Pulau Tikus) and the mamak stall at Dato Koyah...and the tea's neither too hot nor cool.It should be warm...warm enough to uplift you when you're down.
If Chinese tea is mainly favoured by Chinese at your local dim-sum restaurant, teh tarik is the drink for all. People from all walks of life,the illiterates and the professionals drink it. It is the drink that seals all racial barriers.
You can see Malay, Chinese, Eurasian, Indian..and all...sitting at the same table, besides sharing a common bond of friendship, they too sharing a common penchant for their favorite drink, teh tarik.
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