Kitchen Xiuzhen, Chapter 63 – Cook Like You’re Making Elixirs!
Luo Xiu’s eye lids suddenly opened, there was shock within his eyes.
The spiritual energy within his body was especially intense, after breaking through that one meridian, his reserve actually increased by ten fold.
If he could access the thousand over meridian points, this spiritual energy would… certainly be something that’s quite terrifying to consider.
“No wonder only Kitchen Xiuzhen could make spiritual food, to approach perfection, one could exert the spiritual energy within one’s body to influence the food.
Luo Xiu gained a little more understanding on this world.
In this world, though ingredients were important, the ability of Kitchen Xiuzhen should not be underestimated.
In the midst of cooking, a Kitchen Xiuzhen would fully utilize their own spiritual energy, this was the main reason why people would kneel in respect for them.
However, in the next second, Luo Xiu’s expression… suddenly froze.
He was, of course, unsurprised by the fact that his taste buds have been restored but… that small trace of golden egg fried rice in his mouth was just — Too! Damned! Delicious!
With his ability to taste restored, Luo Xiu could finally understand.. the true reason why cooking dominates the Country of Fine Cuisine.
The thing that could both captivate and control people, was simply ultimate deliciousness.
This taste was truly unforgettable![Pu Tong!]
Luo Xiu lay flat on the floor of the Spirit Amassing Room, a sparkle of life flickered in his eyes!
This Country of Fine Cuisine…was just too interesting, ah!
“Ingredients! To think that such wonderful ingredients actually exist, mild Summer Grains , plump and sweet have reached a point of perfection. The moment one bites down, a gentle and natural fragrant sweetness just burst in one’s mouth!”
“Then, there’s those Spotted Pheasant Eggs with its fragrant and dense egg whites, just looking at it could a chef tremble all the way to his very cells!”
“And these… are just basic ingredients?”
Previously Luo Xiu had only felt that these ingredients were quite curious, but now that he had actually tasted them, he finally understood why the people of this world would worship gourmet food.
Merely basic cooking ingredients would guarantee deliciousness.
Because of this, there was no need to add seasoning or spices in order to entice one’s appetite.
“This is almost like a dream!”
Luo Xiu exhaled, he had difficulty swallowing now because… he had eaten too much and there was just too much undigested food in his stomach.
“Looks like I can only wait until tomorrow to restore my sense of smell.”
When Luo Xiu finally got up from the meditation mat, it was already dark outside. However, he was still feeling quite energetic.
Once he reinstates his sense of smell, Luo Xiu will be able to properly investigate this world’s spices.
Luo Xiu went down to the kitchen and turned up the tea light.
‘Tea Light’ was something that was made from the leaves and branches of a ‘Tea Tree’. The leaves and branches of this kind of tree burned very slowly and emitted very strong radiance.
The people in the Country of Fine Cuisine all use the branches of this tree as a light source, a very convenient tree.
All the spices in the restaurant were placed in the kitchen.
Their version of spices was completely different from his previous world which utilizes dried leaves or buds. In this Country of Fine Cuisine, spice was something that had been developed and pushed to the extreme.
“So, activated plants can be used to enhance the taste!”
He picked up a plant called the Yellow Moon Clan, its leaves looked especially bright and lively. Since his sense of smell still have not been reinstated, he could not smell anything. However, the moment he place a piece of leaf onto his tongue, a fresh and sour taste flooded his sense of taste.
“Hm… I guess this taste kind of like lemons.”
Luo Xiu quietly took note of it, and picked the leaf of the plant next to it. The leaves had a bad ass, sawtooth shape on it. This one was called ‘Big Turbine’ and was a common spice within the gourmet circle.[Crunch!]
Luo Xiu lightly took a bite, and was rewarded with a rather bitter and powerful taste, it was soon followed by a rather strong spicy sensation with a slightly sweet after taste!
“This… could this be the Orange Moon?!”
Luo Xiu could not resist crying out loud, eyes widen in surprise.
That’s because this Orange Moon also has another name, and that was the more famous — Curry Leaf.
Curry leaf and curry are not the same thing. Curry is a general term for a blend of spices. The most common being the yellow curry which has a rather unique taste. In fact, yellow curry is the most common type of curry which could be found in most stores. When one takes into consideration of the types of curries found in India, or Southeast Asia, the varieties of curry in one region alone goes up to at least a few hundred types. All of which could be blended from this curry leaf as well as other spices.
Curries made according to this spice blend are called – the Spicy Blend.
Where lots of fragrant spices with unique properties are used.
For example, the White curry, is made using cloves, cumin, coriander, mustard, turmeric powder, and chilli etc. When added into soups, the flavour would be quite enhanced. 
“No wonder this Big Turbine is so widely used, it’s like a multi-purpose spice, ah!”
The flavour of Big Turbine was similar to curry, but… Luo Xiu could tell that compared to the curry leaf back on earth, there was still a difference.
First, the taste of this Big Turbine was much richer!
“This is the power of freshness, ah!”
In his past life, there were very few fresh spices used, most of the curry leaves he had access to were dried leaves.
Second, the quality of this Big Turbine compared to the freshest curry leaf he had ever taste, the flavour was much more condensed and refreshing.
“No wonder this world has no seasoning… just a common spice is already have such rich flavour. The possibilities with such a rich tasting ingredient is unfathomable!”
Luo Xiu continued to check out the rest of the spices within the kitchen.
The salty ‘Dry Bamboo Leaf Grass’, the slightly sugary ‘Insect Nectar’ which had gone through some processing such as steaming and curing. It gave off a sweet and fragrant taste, though naturally, its powers could not beat MSG.
“To think there are so many unique things in this Country of Fine Cuisine, but… it’s all too muddled up!”
After tasting over a hundred different types of spices in the kitchen, Luo Xiu came to one conclusion.
Unless the chef was a spice expert, with many years experience with all kinds of spices, it would be difficult to properly utilize even a small portion of the spices here.
Back on earth, Luo Xiu also studied spices.
To be able to create a personal spice blend, this is the unique ability of Indian chefs.
The correct blend of spices would double or even triple the impact of a dish.
The more spices are used in a blend, the easier it is to upset the balance and overwhelm the taste. A balanced blend will create a concentrated, but gentle impact on the taster.
However… it is not the case of ‘more is better’, randomly adding spices into a dish would just ruin it.
In fact, according to food scientist, the limit is 20 types of spices.
This was the conclusion reached by modern food science, based on scientific evidence.
The science researches the connection of spices involved a lot of technical terms like HLB (hydrophilic-lipophilic balance) value, surfactant ratio, water-in-oil emulsion, oil-in-water emulsion…
“Although the use of spices in this world is quite sophisticated to the point of scariness, involving hydration, curing, blending and blanching… their handling of main ingredients still lose to earth!”
“No wonder those who could actually make it as Kitchen Xiuzhen are so few.”
Luo Xiu spent some time digesting this information and finally came to a conclusion.
The chefs of Country of Fine Cuisine have been relying on high grade ingredients and superior spice blends in order to create gourmet food, neglecting the actual ingredients themselves.
They were more interested in finding out the perfect balance between ingredients and spices.
In other words, in cooking they would first consider the balance of ingredients and spices, and see which fits what, and not the elevation of the ingredients own characteristics.
“That’s a big mistake, ah!”
Luo Xiu’s eyes gleamed.
For a man from a scientific world, ingredients are the soul of the dish, not accessories to be matched here and there!
“If ingredients are dead things, matching and balancing are living things… then I must first push the limits of the ‘dead’ thing before deciding on complicated things like balance and matchmaking.”
Luo Xiu finally realized the biggest error within this Country of Fine Cuisine.
They have actually treated cooking like alchemy, all the time thinking up ways to make the food come alive with spiritual energy.
Taste came second.
“As expected of a country filled with cultivators, it’s all cultivating, alchemy and magic pills… and not deliciousness!”
Luo Xiu sighed slightly to himself.
He prepared himself to go to Infusion Ink Restaurant.
In order to properly experience true gourmet of this world…naturally he had to personally taste it.
“Weilan, get up… we’re going out to eat!”
[Translator’s Note: Deleted 2 ‘!’ Did you guys missed them?]
 Summer Grains (Xia Gu) – Not sure if it has anything to do with Chun Gu, or Spring Grain or just a typo on the author’s side.  Originally known as just [Ban Zi] Chicken, but I thought this sounded more elegant.  Activation is a chemical reaction, I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be used here. The descriptions were mostly for living plants, but then this word kept popping up.  Curry Leaf vs Curry Powder – Ahaha, I just have to put it out here, the author is wrong. I repeat the author’s FACTS ARE WRONG. Curry powder does NOT include curry leaf AS A RULE. I speak this as a person from Southeast Asia, and here are some links to check out.
Why yes, I’m a stickler when it comes to fact checks. Why do you ask?
Seriously, I’m fine with suspension of disbelief, but not when it’s wrong for no good reason. I must protest this, curry powder in soups, nope. It won’t enhance the soup, smarty pants, it will muddy the flavour. Also, ‘white curry’ does not contain turmeric powder. Why? Because it’s yellow, YELLOW!! It will turn into a yellow curry you tit! Turmeric’s yellowness stains, people dye cloths yellow using turmeric!! By the way, White Curry could contain chilli and not be red IF you use whole fresh or dried chillies.  If you really must know the science of spices, check out cookingscienceguy