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这是世界上第一个能量棒吗?

更新时间:2018-3-24 9:27:55 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Is this the world's first energy bar?
这是世界上第一个能量棒吗?

The origins of the Kendal mint cake date to prehistoric times, when unique geological conditions created sweet, marble-like deposits in the caverns of England’s Lake District. Local miners armed with pickaxes risk their lives to carve out this valuable foodstuff.

有关肯德尔薄荷糕(Kendal mint cake)的来源可以追溯至史前,在英格兰湖区(Lake District)的洞穴里,独特的地质条件造成一种味道发甜,有大理石纹路的沉积物。当地矿工会冒着风险用镐头挖掘这些可用来充饥的东西。当然,这不过是湖区一位叫科林·鲍登(Colin Bowden)的糖果商人讲的故事。

Of course, that’s the fictional, tongue-in-cheek version related by Colin Bowden. Along with his wife Margot, he runs a shop called The Mintcake Mine in Bowness-on-Windermere, a picturesque Lake District town. As well as selling the delicacy, the shop houses a tiny exhibition on the mint-cake myth – complete with pickaxes and a helmet belonging to the so-called mint-cake miners.

而肯德尔薄荷糕的真实历史同样充满传奇色彩。肯德尔薄荷糕其实与蛋糕没有什么关系,它是一种糖棒,十分受登山或远足者的青睐,当作一种能量补充物食用。

The real story of Kendal mint cake is no less interesting.

The treat was created by accident in 1869 in the nearby market town of Kendal. Confectioner Joseph Wiper was in the process of making mints. During a bout of inattention, the sugary mixture started to solidify and turn cloudy. The Kendal mint cake – more of a bar than a floury cake, eaten more frequently by hikers looking for a glucose boost than diners in the mood for dessert – was born.

它的诞生完全是一个意外。1869年在英格兰一个叫肯德尔的小镇,一位叫约瑟夫·韦珀(Joseph Wiper)的糖果制造商正在制作薄荷糖。一不留神,一些糖稀开始凝固,并变得浑浊……于是肯德尔薄荷糕诞生了。

Today, the product remains simple, made of sugar, glucose syrup, water and peppermint oil. The oldest existing manufacturer of Kendal mint cake, Quiggins, adds salt.

今天,这种薄荷糕依然保持着简单的制作方法和材料,食糖、葡萄糖浆、水和薄荷油。肯德尔薄荷糕历史最悠久的制造商Quiggin's的薄荷糕成分里还会加一点点盐。

Simple or not, the mint cake has played an outsized role in mountaineering history. In 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay ate it on their attempt to be the first team to ascend Mt Everest.

如此简单的一款糖果却在登山历史上占据了一席之地。1953年,当登山先驱埃德蒙德·希拉里(Edmund Hillary)和丹增·诺尔盖(Tenzing Norgay)在人类首次征服珠穆朗玛峰时,口里就嚼着它。

The expedition manager responsible for their provisions had read about Kendal mint cake in a climbing magazine. In 1952 he wrote to Romney’s, one of the bar’s main manufacturers to this day, to request 38lb (17kg) of brown mint cake, a version made with brown sugar. He had never tried the product himself, but as his letter says, "Experience thas [sic] shown this to be an excellent High Altitude food".

那次登山行动的组织者曾经在一本登山杂志中读到过介绍肯德尔薄荷糕的文章。1952年,他给肯德尔薄荷糕制造商Romney's写信,订购了大约17公斤这种薄荷糕,选择的是红糖制作的。虽然他本人从来没吃过,但他信中说,听说这是一种极好的高原食品。

This was seven years after the end of World War II, when the UK was still subject to food rationing. As a result, Romney’s had to make a special request for additional sugar, which was granted.

当时正值二战结束后第七个年头,英国仍处于食物短缺期,实行定量供应。为了制作这一大订单,Romney's不得不申请获得更多红糖来制作这批产品。

Hillary and Norgay became the first confirmed people to summit Mt Everest. As for the mint cake, one member of the expedition wrote, "It was easily the most popular item on our high altitude ration – our only criticism was that we did not have enough of it."

希拉里和诺尔盖最终成为首次登上珠穆朗玛峰的人,而这款薄荷糕,正如登山队里的一位成员写的:"它成为我们在高海拔地区行动时最受欢迎的东西,我们唯一的抱怨是,带得太少了!"

Kendal mint cake continues to be popular with climbers, cyclists and runners as a portable, durable source of energy. Emma Stevenson, a professor of sport and exercise science at Newcastle University, explained, “It is high in glucose and therefore is rapidly digested when consumed, and so is a quick source of energy. This is why it is popular on walks etc.”

后来,肯德尔薄荷糕因为易于携带和能保持体力而一直受到世界各地登山者、骑行者和远足者的喜爱。英国纽卡斯尔大学的运动科学教授艾玛·斯蒂文森(Emma Stevenson)教授说:"它葡萄糖含量很高,能够迅速在体内消化转为能量,所以远足者都很喜欢它。"

Kendal mint cake has been called the world’s first energy bar. The sugar content is particularly useful at high altitudes, where the body craves sugar and finds other types of food hard to digest. The strong mint flavour is also appropriate, as high altitudes dull taste buds.

由此,肯德尔薄荷糕被人称为世界上第一款能量棒。在高海拔地区糖分非常有用,当身体缺乏糖分时其他食物却很难转化成糖。而它的薄荷芳香也极受喜爱,因为在高原地区人的味蕾变得迟钝。

More than 60 years after the summiting of Everest, the making of Kendal mint cake remains largely unchanged.

人类首登珠穆朗玛峰后60多年过去了,肯德尔薄荷糕的制作和成分都没有什么变化。

For one thing, it’s still a family affair in at least one mint cake-producing company. John Barron, the current managing director of Romney’s, is the fourth generation of the family to run the business. As a child, he worked in the factory on school holidays. He operates Romney’s with his wife, Paula, and her brother. The Barrons hope that their two sons will take over the business someday. Regardless, they won’t entertain ideas about selling it. “It’s security for our family and future generations,” Paula said.

至少一家薄荷糕生产商仍然是家族企业。约翰·巴伦(John Barron)是Romney's公司的现任经理,也是经营该公司的巴伦家族第四代。从小他就在学校放假期间在工厂里打工。现在他与妻子葆拉(Paula)和妻弟一起经管公司运作。他们希望,将来他们的两个儿子能接手公司运营。不管怎样,他们从不考虑是否会出售公司。"它是我们家族和后代未来生活的保障。"葆拉说。

Founded in 1914, Romney’s has also retained much of the original production process. The factory happens to be located on Mintsfeet Road North, near the foot of the River Mint. (Amazingly, there’s no connection between these names and the treat.)

这家创建于1914年的公司,至今仍然保持着大部分最初的生产程序。

Arriving at Romney’s, a minty smell wafts over the unassuming industrial estate that surrounds it. Once inside, the scent is powerful. The factory is smaller than you might expect: just three small rooms. The Barrons are nervous about expanding: getting too big “wouldn’t give us that quality of life and that enjoyment,” said Paula.

来到Romney's公司,一股薄荷的清香味飘然而来。进入工厂,薄荷味愈加浓烈了。工厂规模比你可能想象的要小:只有三间屋子。巴伦家族对扩大生产感到担忧,葆拉说,如果工厂太大"可能剥夺去我们现在的生活质量和愉悦"。

The actual production is confined to one room. First, a large vat heats up and mixes the sugar with glucose and water. The next steps are done by hand. The sugar mixture is poured into copper pans nearly a century old. Factory workers add essence of peppermint and mix this in a process known as ‘graining’, which helps the compound achieve its distinctive cloudy appearance. Employees then ladle the concoction into silicone moulds in a variety of sizes and shapes. These moulds have perforations for easy splitting of the sheets.

实际生产只在一间屋子里进行。首先,将一个大桶加热,加入糖、葡萄糖和水,下一步要用手工操作。糖浆倒入一个将近有一百年老旧的铜锅里,工人向糖浆里加入薄荷油,搅拌过程中使糖稀变得浑浊。然后将其倒入各种形状和尺寸的硅胶模具中——模具上有小孔以方便薄荷糕分离取出。

It takes up to 30 minutes for the cake to turn solid; the staff can tell at a glance, by the texture and colour, whether it’s ready. They break the cake into bars and weigh them. The bars then go to the other rooms of the factory, where they’re wrapped, packed and stacked for distribution.

大约30分钟后,薄荷糕便凝固变硬。工人们可以根据质地和颜色变化得知是否已经成形。接下来,薄荷糕被切块称重,然后在另一个车间包装起来,准备出售。

Kendal mint cake isn’t for everyone. It’s intensely minty – to the point that you’ll continue to taste the herb well after you’ve swallowed the cake. (The chocolate-covered version helps to temper the mintiness.) For intrepid souls only, there’s even an extra-strong version. This is one cake that’s less dessert than fuel, functional rather than gourmet.

当然,肯德尔薄荷糕并不受到所有人喜欢。它薄荷味极浓,你吃下去很久之后还能感觉到薄荷味。巧克力味薄荷糕的味道会清淡一点。不过,对酷爱它的人,甚至有特浓版薄荷糕。可以说这是一种能量食物而不是甜点,它的功能性更胜于美食。

Outdoorsy pursuits like climbing are a good fit for the Lake District, a scenic part of north-west England, in the county of Cumbria, known for its 16 main lakes, mountainous terrain and literary heritage (it inspired the likes of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter). In July 2017, Unesco named the Lake District a World Heritage Site, a status bound to increase tourism to the already much-visited region.

英格兰西北的坎布里亚郡(Cumbria)以湖区的优美景色而受到户外运动爱好者的青睐,16个如镜的湖泊,连绵的群山和丰厚的文化遗产吸引着络绎不绝的访问者。2017年7月,联合国教科文组织将湖区列上世界文化遗产地名录,由此定会吸引来更多游客。

The Lake District remains proud of its home-grown product, and Kendal mint cake can be found just about everywhere in Kendal. It retains an old-fashioned reputation, but that’s key to its appeal to tourists and locals alike. “It’s not changed,” said Paula. “It’s still made by hand.”

而湖区人对自己的本地特产格外自豪,在肯德尔到处可见肯德尔薄荷糕,它里里外外都保留了自己老式的传统本质。"它一点都没变,仍然手工制作。"葆拉说。

Whatever the future of tourism for the Lake District, and for Kendal in particular, it’s clear that a mint-flavoured bar beloved of mountaineers will long continue to be associated with it.

不管湖区的旅游前景如何,这款登山者必带的薄荷味甜品,将继续作为能量棒而受到人们的喜爱。

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