Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Chinese food and architecture

Back in 2002, we went to the reception for Brian and Fong Chinn's wedding. It was an amazing reception, with food that I never expect to have again. I wished I was able to eat two or three times as much as I was able to. Stunning stuff! Shark fin, bird's nest soup, prawn things... damn, it was good! Many of these dishes were in a fine, thin, velvety stock. The Babe observed at the time that all Chinese dishes are based on mucus. An interesting hypothesis and hard to refute given our incredible menu.

Okay, fast forward: National Geographic reports that the Chinese used sticky rice for building, specifically, for mortar. Apparently, mixing lime and sticky rice result in a mortar that has much smaller calcium carbonate crystals, making it much tougher and more water-resistant. There's no reason this technique can't be used again, so restorations can be done using this to make a nice, tight mortar. And it's a good way to make use of basic resources to achieve superior results. 

Those Chinese are very sneaky!  :)


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