Chapter 48: As a glutton with principles, no compromises
The fat elder was holding up the pheasant, but he was placing it too close to the fire, and the speed at which he rotated the pheasant was too slow. Roasting food with a naked fire was unlike grilling in a barbecue eatery. A barbecue eatery uses specialized grills that are easily lit. Its flame is uniform and most importantly, it is smokeless.
But for firewood, the fire is not uniform, and the smoke is thick. This smoke was the ash from the unburned wood and would rise up with the flames, sticking onto the pheasant’s skin. So in a while, the pheasant in the old man’s hands was already burned black. It wasn’t overcooked, but it was covered in a layer of ash. It not only affected the texture, but it would also taste bitter.
Although the old man wiped oil every now and then, it was unable to change the situation of the layer of ash growing thicker. From the way the old man did it, it was clear that it was a matter of time before it was burnt.
Using firewood to grill meat was a difficult job. Even a barbecue eatery’s experts might not be able to do it well, but the old man was even worse.
This was understandable, after all, what sort of position did this old man have? Time was precious, so he need not prepare food for himself.
His culinary skills were naturally nothing flattering. Furthermore, grilling meat with firewood was extremely difficult.
“This is practically the destruction of Heaven’s property!” As a glutton, eh, no, as a connoisseur who enjoys researching delicacies, Yi Yun could no longer endure the travesty in front of him.
As the pheasant was almost done roasting, the old man sprinkled various spices and offered the blackened roasted pheasant to Lin Xintong.
Yi Yun felt that there was no spot one could get a bite in!
But Lin Xintong did not seem to mind it. She said “Thank you, Master”, accepted the grilled pheasant before taking small bites at it. Although her lips were pink and tiny, her lips were colored black after eating such a roasted pheasant. This scene made Yi Yun’s lose all expression on his face.
It was a great offense against food culture.
The old man treasured his disciple, so the roasted pheasant was naturally left for her. As for Yi Yun, there was no doubt that he would be last. But Yi Yun was still grateful. If this pheasant was sold, its price would be expensive, even someone like Lian Chengyu would not be able to afford it.
After he finished grilling one pheasant, the old man began grilling the second one.
As the first was given to Lin Xintong, the old man had grilled it with extra care, but since the second one was for himself, it looked even worse.
However, the old man was still very pleased with his work. After he finished grilling both pheasants, he took out a jug of wine from his ring. He began eating the roasted meat savorily and drinking his wine with pleasure. After finishing it, he had a look of enjoyment, and his white beard was curling with satisfaction.
He then had a sudden thought and looked at Yi Yun, saying lazily, “That’s for you. You can roast it for yourself. I won’t be serving.”
Yi Yun was speechless. Although he did not expect the old man to roast a pheasant for him, the old man had previously said, “Not many people have tasted my culinary skills!”
When Yi Yun heard those words, he believed that the old man would roast a pheasant for him, but from the looks of it, that was no longer the case!
Yi Yun wasn’t very confident about roasting it himself. Although he had done research on food, he was after all a modern man, he could easily cook a tender and crisp roasted chicken easily with a barbecue pit and smokeless coal.
But it was hard for him to do it with firewood. There was no way of blocking the ash from the firewood, and no matter how much he turned the pheasant, the ash would still end up on the pheasant meat.
“I say, do you have a wok?” Yi Yun asked extremely politely. As a glutton with principles, he was not willing to compromise no matter how hungry he was! This was the first time he had seen meat in two months, not to mention that it was high-grade meat!
“I do,” said the old man as he took out a pot from his ring.
Although the pot was made of an unknown material, it was well made and of appropriate size. Yi Yun was very satisfied.
Yi Yun began to busy himself. He began identifying the spices the old man had taken out. He was surprised at the complete assortment of spices, oil, sauces, and salt. There was even some plant spice that resembled green onions and parsley.
“That wine, can I borrow it?”, asked Yi Yun again.
“Eh? Wine? You want to drink two cups with me?” said the old man with a smile as he passed the wine to Yi Yun after recovering from a momentary shock. This kid actually appreciated wine?
Although he was stingy, he was eager to have an alcohol buddy as that was the only meaning in drinking.
Although he didn’t like the kid in front of him, Yi Yun was better than nothing. After all, Lin Xintong did not drink alcohol, so he had been drinking alone for one whole year.
“Master!” Lin Xintong was a bit speechless, “How can you give a child alcohol?”
But they never expected that after Yi Yun had dried the pheasant, he had poured the wine, spreading it evenly, not missing the pheasant’s abdominal cavity.
“Kid, what are you doing?” The old man stared at Yi Yun as his beard flared up. This was a thousand-year-old wine. As a wine enthusiast, he could not endure the waste of his alcohol.
“I’m cooking.” a surprised Yi Yun answered matter-of-factly.
I must say, this wine sure is good. Its aroma is sweet. I wonder what sort of treasure was it distilled from. I believe drinking one gulp of this will do wonders for cultivation!
“Cooking? Wine can be used for cooking?” The old man repudiated.
After some hesitation, Yi Yun understood.
The culinary methods in this world were very different from Earth’s.
Even during the period when food culture was at its peak in China, all the cooking techniques were very simple in ancient times.
During the Tang and Song dynasties, the basic cooking methods were steaming or boiling. Be it vegetables or meat, they were mixed with salt, covered with a lid and eaten once it was cooked.
As for stir-frying, quick-frying, blanching, smoking, or cooking with alcohol, etc, these methods of cooking could only be developed after material wealth was improved.
Each region had different food cultures. About eighty percent of Chinese cuisine was unique.
Even the most simple stir-frying of vegetables was a product of China. Although it sounded incredible, that is what is it.
In the entire Earth, the most complex cooking techniques belonged to the Chinese, with no near rival.
In this world, leaving out the vast wilderness, the hard labor lives people led were too tough, so there was no energy or materials left for food experimentation.
As for the rich cities, the rich were experts. They were focused on their martial arts, arrays, and the techniques for refining desolate bones, so there was no time to research cooking.
Only the servants of large clans could research on this. These people made good meals, and through experience, accumulated some cooking skills. But in such a lowly area, there was a limit to one’s culinary skills.
Yi Yun glazed the pheasant’s body with oil and soy sauce. He poured wine into the abdominal cavity and sprinkled some spices that resembled spring onions and cilantro. Yi Yun had tasted the spice, and with his gluttonous talent, he knew that it wouldn’t be lacking as compared to using spring onions or cilantro.
Next was the crucial point, Yi Yun used a clean coarse cloth to wrap the pheasant. He then poured large amounts of salt into the pot and buried the pheasant in it. After completely covering the pheasant, he sealed the pot and began steaming it.
The fat elder looked at Yi Yun with suspicion. He had used so much salt and wrapped up the pheasant? Wouldn’t it be extremely salty!?
Have the poor children of this tribe not eaten salt?
Even if they lacked salt, it wasn’t meant to be eaten this way. It was a speechless turn of events. The fat older scoffed at the kid’s eccentricity.
He carried on eating his roasted pheasant, but Lin Xintong had stopped eating and began watching the pot Yi Yun had placed above the fire with curiosity.
Slowly, the pot began to emit a fragrance. The fragrance was not obvious. If these people were not martial artists with keen senses, they would not have smelled it.
Could something with such a light scent be delicious?
The fat elder had already finished his roasted pheasant and began licking his thick and short fingers. At that moment, Yi Yun opened the pot, and used a ladle to brush away the hot salt, and took out the pheasant.
A savory salt-baked pheasant was completed.
The moment the salt seal was broken, a fresh savory fragrance emitted, making Yi Yun eager to eat.
Yi Yun was surprised that he was able to prepare the meal to his fullest capabilities. Of course, the main reason stemmed from the fact that the pheasant’s flesh was filled with energy. It was much better than the bred chickens on Earth.
And the wine, which was brewed from some treasure had turned into the ambrosia of the gods with just some yeast and a few hundred years.
With the two combined, Yi Yun was able to produce a salt-baked pheasant of a quality that reached unprecedented heights.
“Eh?”, flared up the old man’s beard as his eyes suddenly rounded up.