Gourds. Here, you don’t eat gourds. In fact, it never occurred to Dan that those tiny little garden gourds that you buy around Halloween to decorate your porch are also actually food. Think about it!
Or, you know, you make a drum or a bowl out of them. They are known as nature’s pottery after all.
Well, what do you know, the white gourd (which, not surprisingly, is distantly related to the pumpkin) is not only eaten in places like Singapore, but yes, made into a drink.
Like most Asian corporations, Yeo’s loves to talk about their company. First, they are huge, and old – founded in 1900. The name? Well, Yeo is the first name of the dude who founded it, Yeo Keng Lian. And the first thing the company made was soy sauce. They still do. And they also make and wide variety of what we’ll call “things in a can you would not expect to go in a can.” Example? Canned curry. Canned grass jelly. And of course, our drink, White Gourd Drink.
And we are always tickled when a web site provides both an extensive history of the company along with “oldy” photos as well as ad campaign and marketing posters. Yeo’s has both, check it out here: http://www.yeos.com.sg
Honestly no matter the country or the product, you can sell anything, even Gourd Drink, with cool cars!
Meena’s cousin, who lives in Kathmandu, warned us not to try Yeo’s – too big, too corporate, not fresh. And honestly, canned gourd drink? But oddly enough, just a week earlier, Meenakshi had brought home a can from one of her crazy fishing expeditions someplace in Massachusetts. So, it was just sitting there! We figured we shouldn’t let it go to waste.
We should have. Our first signal that something was wrong was the lack of “kaship!” sound of the top opening. Honestly, non-carbonated beverages? Really the only way to hide some of the taste of these things is through the texture of bubbly.
The drink gave an immediate and powerful smell. Since neither of us knows what a gourd tastes like, we could only assume that this was gourd smell – sort of sweet, with a distinct vanilla odor. The taste followed that up – the closest we could associate was cream soda. Check, make that flat cream soda. And you had to sip it with your nose closed because it really did smell very bad.
The liquid itself just sat there mocking us, smelling. Neither of us could get more than a few slugs down, and the aftertaste was vaguely like sticking a push pin into the tip of your tongue.
We’ve tried a lot of crazy foods and drinks in the last few months, but this may have been the worst. From now on, our gourds are strictly Halloween decorations.
Gourds are best in their natural state, as Halloween decorations.