虫草出名得感谢鸡精-第39届副主席林蔼能
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虫草出名得感谢鸡精-第39届副主席林蔼能

同安会馆有一些理事属于书生型,予人文质彬彬的形象。副主席林霭能就是其中一位。从事保健品业务的他,在91年由另一名副主席汪家裕介绍加入会馆。

不知是不是因为常吃保健品,还是遗传因子优良,很难叫人相信林霭能已经60岁。访问他当天,看见他的办公室桌子上摆放了很多瓶瓶罐罐的保健品,我就笑称一定要吃保健品,才能像他一样保养到家,结果他说那些保健品是一年前才开始试吃,而霭能的白皙容颜不是一年前才有,所以证明非桌上保健品的功劳,而得归功于我没办法“偷师 ”的遗传因子。不过,这时霭能又说,蜜糖他倒是常喝。呵!我又有救了!

提到蜜糖,提到保健品,不能不提虫草鸡精。60年代,本地人只认识白兰氏鸡精,对虫草并不熟悉。霭能说,是他的父亲与叔叔,最早将虫草与鸡精结合,介绍给本地人的。看来,虫草从当年默默无闻,到今天身价百倍,其实还得感谢鸡精的提拔!

说到鸡精,这个名词和概念可说是十分“洋派”的。霭能说,当年白兰氏将鸡精引进本地,才开始有了炖鸡汁等于鸡精这个概念。跟中国人说鸡精,他会以为是炒菜用的鸡精调味块。也因此,要将滋补产品鸡精打入中国市场不容易,除非在名称上作出改变。目前,除了香港因为受英国殖民地文化影响,对滋补的鸡精并不陌生外,广州因为接近香港,多少也能接受鸡精外,中国其他地区都将鸡精当成是调味料。文化差异可见于此。

要开拓保健品的市场,首先就必须解决文化差异。为了开拓马来同胞的市场,霭能在中国的生产获得回教徒食用准证的生鱼精,据说还卖得不错。接下来,霭能希望能争取将鸡精介绍给本地回教徒。

工作以外,霭能平时也爱唱京剧。和上一期本栏提到的另一名副主席陈木辉一样,均参加平社,同样演唱老生的角色,演过的剧目包括《借东风》、《将相和》以及《罢宴》。

除了唱京剧, 霭能闲暇时也喜欢品尝美食和美酒、宠一宠自己,或许,霭能养生的秘诀,正是懂得欣赏生活中美好的事物,保持精神愉快,所以人也特别年轻?

Cordyceps and Essence of Chicken

There are a number of council members of Tung Ann District Guild who look and behave like scholars, Vice President Mr Lim Ai Gin is one of them. The health products wholesaler cum distributor joined the Guild in 1991 upon the introduction by fellow Vice President Mr Ang Kah Joo.

The 60 years old Mr Lim looks younger than his age. I wonder if it is the work of health products or simply due to genes. On the day I interviewed him, I noticed there were several bottles of health products, mainly capsules on his desk, I said I had to start taking those products to stay youthful, but Mr Lim said he only started taking those capsules a year ago. I do remember Mr Lim got his youthful look since I first met him and it was certainly more than a year ago, so I reckon it is all due to genes which means I could do nothing about it. But Mr Lim again pointed out that he takes honey regularly. Oh! so I do have my remedy now!

Mention about health remedy, cordyceps is a very well known Chinese herb that nourishes the body. According to Mr Lim, few Singaporeans heard about cordyceps in the early 60′s. Mr Lim’s father and uncle were the first to introduce cordyceps with essence of chicken to Singaporeans at the time when most Singaporeans knew only Brand’s Essence of Chicken. Hence, it is not far fetch if we were to say cordyceps becomes famous because of essence of chicken.

According to Mr Lim, the Chinese in ex-British colonies like Singapore and Hong Kong were exposed to Brand’s Essence of Chicken in the early days, they are thus able to accept essence of chicken as a tonic food. Whereas to the Chinese in China, essence of chicken is not a tonic food, but a flavour to be used in cooking. Hence, it is a challenge to introduce essence of chicken to the Chinese in China unless there is a change in the term used.

Mr Lim knows well that to expand his health products market, he needs to deal with cultural differences. So to get the Malays to buy his products, he has secured a halal licence for the production of fish essence for his factory in China. His next move is to get local Muslims to buy his essence of chicken.

Apart from work, Mr Lim likes to sing Chinese opera. Like the Vice President of Tung Ann District Guild Mr Tan Bock Hwee we last featured here, Mr Lim is also a member of Ping Sheh, the amateur Beijing opera society. He has since appeared in a number of performances playing the role of Laosheng.

Besides Chinese opera, Mr Lim likes to source for good food and wine. Perhaps it is because Mr Lim appreciates the better things in life which promotes a sense of well being, hence, he is able to defy age?