Friday, 20 February 2009

Delicious Tea-Eggs - Xiang Cha Lu Dan

Let’s have a look at some Asian packaging innovations. The next few articles will describe some interesting and creative packages from several South-East Asian countries. First the Tea-Eggs from PR China and Taiwan.

Never before were tea-eggs pre-packaged. Marbled Tea Eggs (cha ye dan) are one of the most popular and typical Chinese snacks, sold solely by street vendors and in night stalls in most Chinese communities throughout the world.
The XuanHui pre-packaged tea eggs, to be found in the supermarket refrigeration section, are shrink wrapped giving it a bulbous packaging. It looks like they make these in really long strips and the supermarket can cut to 3 packs, or 1 packs if they like. Although packing (boiled) eggs, individually, is not usual, the used film is not special and is only a laminate with an oxygen barrier.

Tea Eggs are simply hard-boiled eggs, which are boiled a second time in a salted tea extract. Tea Egg is a kind of alkaline food, boiled with medicinal spices. It not only stimulates the appetite, but is also good for the liver and breaks off alcohol.

Although so called, tea is not the dominant flavour. The scale of the hard-boiled eggs are slightly cracked with the convex side of a spoon and the eggs are then boiled in an aromatic spiced tea-based fluid with Chinese five-spice powder. This gives the peeled eggs a marbled pattern of white and brown, while the eggs received a delicate soy and anise taste. The process requires between one and three hours.

The industrial process, however, has violated the appearance of the product itself. Instead of their surface having a blurry cracked pattern, somewhat reminiscent of marble, the pre-packaged eggs are indifferent brown. Obviously the egg shells have been removed before the second boiling session, where as in the original home-made process the shells are only lightly cracked without peeling, to allow the eggs to absorb flavours during the second boiling. The lightly cracked shells grant the white to colour surfaces of the egg.

The term: Xiang Lu Cha Dan, as in the packaging means “tasty tea egg”, while the word may also refer to Xiang food from the Hunan district. Hunan Xiang dishes belong to one of the eight types of Chinese food. Sharp dishes and conserved ham are the characteristic components.


Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Salt so ordinary a product, so beautifully packed

BrandStorm, Inc. manages, imports, and sells different brands of gourmet food products. Since 2001, the company has become a major player in launching fancy food brands into the U.S. market.
They have an in-house marketing and design team who created this packaging. BrandStorm sourced the glass jar in the US, and had the labels printed in California.

Finely milled in France Himalania Pink Salt comes from the mountains of the Himalaya, at 10,000 feet high. It is a fossil marine salt which was formed more than 200 million years ago during the Secondary area. Since the beginning of time, salt has been the principal source of income for people living in those remote regions.
Once a year each spring the Himalayan people transport this salt to the Nepalese valleys for trade, as they have for centuries. Heavily burdened yaks carry the salt, travelling along narrow sloping paths, often carved in cliffs. Once they have arrived at their destination, the salt is traded for cereals, which is the staple of the diet for these Himalayan salt traders. It is easy to understand why salt has always been so precious for mankind.
BrandStorm has worked with these people for several years to bring this legendary salt to the West, where it is appreciated for its flavour, texture and colour.

Himalania Pink Salt has exceptional characteristics. It is completely pure. It also has strong nutritional and health enhancing properties. Finally, it possesses an incomparable taste. Its natural pink colour and its origin make this salt a very unique product.
Naturally rich in elements and minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron), it is the naturally rich element iron which creates the unique pink colour of this speckled salt.

Salt is an indispensable condiment, a crucial component for our body's balance and since long been a conservative. Either salt does not appear on a table as it is (sometimes in large quantities) added to the prepared food or it appears in a saltshaker and in a fashionable ambience in a salt mill to grind the course (often sea) salt at the table.

The new package design, a 4-oz (115 ml) glass jar which included three chunks of salt and a metal grater, is ideal for parties, and makes an attractive display on a dinner table because of its unique pink colour. It is extremely exclusive placing some rocks of pink salt on the dinner table with a grater, people have to use to condiment the food.
Grating salt is fun and a novel experience for even seasoned eaters, enhancing the flavour, presentation and interactivity of salads, soups, vegetable dishes, meats or fish.

“We developed a full line of Himalania pink salt, but this package design is specifically intended for home chefs and others who care about flavour, purity and quality, as well as presentation,” says BrandStorm CEO Thierry Ollivier. “With one taste, it’s easy to understand why salt has been so precious to mankind.”


Sunday, 8 February 2009

Heavy rainfall here in the Amazônia region frustrated

Heavy rainfall here in the Amazônia region frustrated my communication devices, i.e. my radio-antenna for internet and my telephone line. Consequently for some weeks now I have not been able to post new articles, although some interesting things happened.
I know, I know, it is the rain season, but nevertheless there is much more and much more heavy and intense rainfall than in previous years. At this moment my internet is working again and I hope to post some articles in the next few days. They have been written during the last weeks and I shall use the date of writing and not the date of posting, to get them in the right order.
I hope my connection stays stable, so that I can upload the articles.
Sorry for the inconvenience and please come back soon.