The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 02.14.07


Scratch a pig, then sniff it, eh?

Chickity China the Chinese chicken, You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin' (Barenaked Ladies)

Just when you thought technology had infiltrated every known corner of humanity, along comes a truly weird application.

Instead of putting vast collective knowledge to good use in a combined effort to eradicate spam (that would be far too boring), techies have come up with a way to assault your senses in another manner.

This time they have figured a way to hit you on the nose and cater to your sense of smell through snail mail. Scratch and sniff technology has been around for some time and its latest application is curiously attractive to this foodie. I cannot resist the urge when confronted with an opportunity to scratch and sniff.

As a lover of Asian food, imagine my excitement when I learned of the release of a new postage stamp that smells and tastes of sweet and sour pork when scratched and licked.

China, being ever the innovator when it comes to food (inventor of noodles, chopsticks, and fortune cookies) has decided the time is right to produce a celebratory sweet and sour pork stamp commemorating the Year of the Pig for 2008. Yummy I say, as next year celebrates the year of the rat. Can't wait for the year of the dog either.

The problem is that sweet and sour pork is not really a Chinese dish -- its origins are more. Barbecue pork, (Char-Sui) yes -- sickly sweet and sour, no.

Apparently, when you lick the back of the stamp it tastes like the dish too.

Just imagine the opportunities. Strawberry for Valentines Day, chocolate for Easter, and cinnamon and spice for Christmas.

I know you are already thinking: How do I procure some of these scratch and sniff- lick and taste stamps? Again, thanks to technology you can order some through your computer.

Just Google it as they say. I tried calling China the old fashioned way but no one answered…

As you celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year Of The Pig (a gluttonous tribute if I ever heard one), remember this Chinese proverb:

Coarse rice for food, water to drink, and the bended arm for a pillow - happiness may be enjoyed even in these. (Confucius)

Char Sui- Chinese Barbecue Pork


(Available at all major grocery stores)
2 1/4 pounds pork shoulder or butt (or tenderloin for lean version)
1 1/2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tbsp. oyster sauce
3 1/2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. dry sherry (optional- substitute water)
1/2 tsp. five spice powder
Black pepper to taste


Cut meat into strips 2 inches thick and seven inches long. Using a fork, tenderize meat by piercing all over. This also allows the sauce to penetrate.

Mix marinade ingredients into a sealable bag large enough to hold meat.

Place meat in bag, massage in the marinade so pork is well covered, then push out all of the air, seal bag and leave it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place wire racks (cake racks will do) on rimmed baking sheet, and place meat on racks. Roast for 20 minutes, until the meat is done. Baste the meat as it cooks a couple of times with some of the marinade. Cool after it is done, then cover and refrigerate until needed.

Slice and serve warm with steamed rice and stir fried vegetables.