Chapter 378: Precious Food Ingredients Contest
Translator: Xiong_Guoqi Editor: DesTheSloth
“This will be interesting.” Chu Xiao revealed a meaningful smile.
“It’s indeed interesting.” Yuan Zhou couldn’t bear Chu Xiao’s look all along and had always felt he deserved a beating. Now the opportunity was here.
“Do you two have any opinion?” The chairman of China Chefs’ Alliance turned his head and asked Yuan Zhou and Chu Xiao.
The two of them stared at each other for an instant and both shook their head with one accord.
“No problem.” “That is just to my satisfaction.” Yuan Zhou answered decently while Chu Xiao was arrogant as always.
“Since one person is out, the rules have to be changed, too. You definitely have no different opinions, right?” The chairman smiled slyly. Even before the two persons answered him, he continued to say.
“Let me declare the new rules.” The chairman stroked his beard.
“You two will come up together to observe the ingredients and see who can reveal the origin, effect, eating method or cooking method faster.”
“Ok.” The two persons answered at the same time this time.
“Alright. Then let’s get started now.” The chairman reached out his hands and indicated they could start now.
“This way, please.” A girl went up to them and led them forward.
The ingredients weren’t put on the plate this time, but were sealed up completely. A full range of protection was offered in case of any damage.
“This vegetable is very sensitive of people’s breath. Please be careful.” The girl smiled and said.
“No worries. Just uncover it.” Looking at the ritual girl with a smile, Chu Xiao said to her.
“Ok. Please look carefully.” The girl nodded her head and then uncovered it quickly.
Once the cover was removed, there appeared a clear glass-like round-bottom flask. There was a lid over the opening with an oxygen tube at the side, which was transferring the oxygen inside with a sound of “Gu Lu Gu Lu.”
“Ottelia acuminata?” While Master Fang was still guessing what it was with a puzzled expression, Yuan Zhou and Chu Xiao said with one accord.
“It seems that both of you know what it is. Who wants to speak first?” The chairman said smilingly while stroking his beard.
“Please.” Occasionally, Chu Xiao also had polite moments, like now.
Usually, the polite remarks were only for courtesy. After that, the other part would normally respond in the same way. Only this process was reasonable.
“Ok.” Yuan Zhou nodded his head without hesitation.
Then, Chu Xiao became a little stupefied. This was one of the rare times where he had shown courtesy, but this was the result?
“Ottelia acuminata is an endangered species.” When Yuan Zhou spoke of that, he looked at the comments.
In his opinion, such an endangered species shouldn’t be regarded as precious.
“It is a kind of underwater plant that can live and grow in water at a maximum depth of 4 meters. It has extremely high requirements for the quality of the water. The water must be clear and transparent and furthermore, must be rich in mineral substances and growth elements. Only with those conditions could it grow.” Yuan Zhou said while pointing at the root stock under water.
“Ottelia acuminata is a little strange. Even on one plant, the shape of leaves and the length of petiole and scape have obvious variations based on the depth of water and the speed of the current. Normally, its blossoming phase is from May to October. In the warm areas, however, it might blossom all year long. This wild vegetable is a kind of species found only in China.” While saying that, Yuan Zhou took a look at Chu Xiao.
A kind of species only found in China. This man seemed to be quite familiar with that.
“Indeed. But in foreign countries, people take it as a green and healthy dish because of the harsh living atmosphere. So my restaurant will occasionally provide the dish.” Chu Xiao shrugged.
“That is indeed so. Both of you are outstanding masters. But for many masters off the stage, this is the first time they have seen such a precious wild vegetable. It is extremely difficult to be seen and quite delicate and will wither very easily.” The Research Doctorate of Precious Ingredient said while pushing the glasses upward.
“Pollution is getting more and more serious. Wherever there’s such a wild vegetable, the air must be very good. Perhaps, we’ll never see it again in the future.” The Great Gourmet also nodded his head to chime in.
“Exactly.” The chairman also nodded his head. Right after that, however, he continued, “Okay. I have already known this stuff isn’t that difficult for you two. Let’s change to another one. Move it carefully, otherwise we will be unable to consume it later.”
After saying that, the old man blinked mischievously.
“This seems to be only a warm-up.” Yuan Zhou said inwardly.
“We are playing for keeps this time.” The chairman showed them the tray carried to their back with a smile.
This time, the serving girl appeared much more relaxed. There were a round tray and a clear glass container that was tightly sealed on it. It was only from the bottom that people knew it was a glass container.
“Please check.” The girl set down the tray on the table lightly and uncovered the glass container.
In the container was the clear and transparent rice. That’s right. It was just like the ordinary rice that people ate in normal times. Besides, it was a little thinner and longer than the ordinary rice.
“Rice?” Chu Xiao looked at it carefully.
Nevertheless, Yuan Zhou just observed silently at the side without saying anything.
“Master Chu, of course it is rice.” The chairman stroked his beard and nodded his head for affirmation.
“Judging from the beautiful luster plus the faint fragrance, it’s supposed to be a kind of tribute rice?” Chu Xiao continued saying that.
However, it was the first time that he had judged one thing with such a tone of uncertainty.
Indeed. It was quite difficult to guess what it was since it was carried up to him without any clues.
Even though Chu Xiao believed himself to be knowledgeable, he didn’t have much contact with tribute rice. After all, China was different from other countries. Even if people had good stuff, they would prefer to hide it and wouldn’t like to talk much about it.
“Keep going.” The three judges neither denied nor affirmed his word, but just signaled him to continue.
However, the three judges felt fairly proud. It wasn’t easy at all to get a container of the genuine rice and thus it was very common that they couldn’t guess it right.
“It is at the same level as Xiangshui Tribute Rice, but is actually not. It should be Zhefang Rice. The color and fragrance deserve the name.” When Chu Xiao brought out Zhefang Rice, he said with a fairly affirmative tone.
“Haw-haw.” The old chairman burst into laughter. Just when he prepared to say something, he was interrupted by Yuan Zhou’s answer.
“The color of Zhefang Rice is as white and tender as jade. Its taste is fragrant and soft when used for cooking plain rice and the texture would be sticky but not greasy when used for making porridge.” Yuan Zhou first brought out the characteristics of Zhefang Rice and then continued to say the following words.
“However, the rice grains in front now are a bluish-white, like jade and besides, it looks as dense as the sand. If used for cooking the plain rice, its pulp would absolutely be like breast milk. When cooked, the rice will be shiny and overflowing with fragrance; the rice grains will be clear and transparent; the taste will be delicate and delicious. Such a rice will be able to raise one’s appetite best and is beneficial to the spleen and stomach.” Yuan Zhou said clearly and logically while pointing at the rice in the container.
“Then what rice do you think it is?” Chu Xiao asked with a sarcastic tone rather than a serious question.
He just found it hilarious. He had, anyhow, been to Diaoyutai State Guesthouse while Yuan Zhou was merely an inferior chef working in a tiny restaurant. Even if he was so knowledgeable, he hadn’t really seen genuine tribute rice before. At least he had the fortune to taste it once before.
“You still don’t know what it is?” Yuan Zhou asked naturally.
This made Chu Xiao choke.
“It is Sanyi Tribute Rice. Ever since the First Emperor of Qin Dynasty, it has been designated as the tribute rice for the imperial family.” Seeing Chu Xiao become dumbfounded, Yuan Zhou shook his head and brought out the answer.
“Damn it! You look so wild and arrogant.” Chu Xiao laughed scornfully while looking at Yuan Zhou and saying that. How could it be possible that one can tell where the rice came from just by a simple glance? The rice didn’t have any conspicuous distinction from any others.
Therefore, Chu Xiao naturally thought that Yuan Zhou was bullsh*tting…