Friday, December 10, 2010

Tempura isn't Tempera

Tempera paint is of interest to the Lemming for at least two reasons:
  • For its appearance, when used in painting
  • Because of the effort it took the Lemming to spell the word
    • And pronounce it
Anyway, here's more about tempera paint:

"Painting: Tempera"
School of Art and Design, San Jose State University.


"Egg tempera is one of the oldest mediums in painting. It consists of dry pigment, water and egg yolk. These pigments are not only used in tempera, but can be used for fresco, encaustic and watercolor paints as well. Tempera was used all over the world: for the icons of the Russian and Greek churches, for panels of Italian painters, for Islamic manuscripts, and even for modern American painters...."

It's a pretty good resource: a history of tempera paints - and an instructional video on how to make your own egg tempera.

Now, about tempura. The Lemming supposes someone could paint with tempura: but it's supposed to be eaten:


"Tempura is, in many ways, an archetypal Japanese food. All the essential qualities of the nation's cuisine are reflected in its preparation: the use of absolutely fresh ingredients, the artful presentation, and the perfection of technique by a skilled chef. The result is one of the triumphs of Japanese cooking-a fried food that is light and fresh-tasting rather than heavy and greasy. It's a cooking style in which the essence of the ingredient itself completely defines the taste.

"It may come as a surprise to learn that tempura was not originally a Japanese dish; it actually owes its origins to the visiting Portuguese missionaries of the sixteenth century. But tempura, like many imported ideas, gradually adapted itself to Japanese needs and tastes. By the late nineteenth century tempura was a popular fast food in Tokyo, sold from sidewalk stalls and roaming pushcarts, and today's modern tempura (made by deep-frying vegetables, fish and shellfish) is no longer a foreign food at all, but a completely Japanese cuisine...."

There's more: how to prepare and serve tempura; and a "Tempura Sample Menu."

Interestingly, considering the origins of tempura, tempera has also been used in Portugal: like in the Jorge Cola├žo tiles in Lisbon, Portugal, showing part of the battle of Aljubarrota.

Well, it's interesting to the Lemming. Your experience may vary.

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