chop ayam
July 19, 2018 4:37 AM   Subscribe

The story of Ayam Brand, set up in Singapore by a Frenchman, and how it got its name Still French-owned, the company started out selling tinned sardines with Clouet, the name of its founder, on the cans along with a rooster, symbol of France. That led Malays to dub it ‘chop ayam’ – the chicken brand. The rest is history
posted by infini (11 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, cool bit of history. Also, the artwork for this can is glorious.
posted by Fizz at 5:03 AM on July 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

I skimmed the title and parsed this as Ayn Rand getting scammed by a Frenchman and I was OK with that, but this is so much better. We have tins of Ayam Brand coconut milk in our cupboard here in Madrid, sourced from the far flung depths of distant supermarkets.
posted by arcticseal at 5:28 AM on July 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

Much as people refer to Sri Racha as “rooster sauce.”
posted by adamrice at 5:45 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

NGL it's been weeks since reading abt this and I'm still in a vague state of shock
posted by cendawanita at 5:48 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

for a second i thought it said ayn brand and it was a horrible libertarian advertising agency
posted by lalochezia at 5:53 AM on July 19, 2018

What the article doesn't get into (and this is unsurprising because it's local context) is how much Ayam Brand sardines made sardines an extremely common feature in common people cooking. Sardines is cheap food, humble food, and practically every community has incorporated it. If you're in Singapore or Malaysia, give roti sardine/sardine prata (Indian roti with sardine filling) a try. And a common budget/bachelor combo is white rice, soy sauce and sardines cooked in its tinned tomato sauce* with fresh aromatics (usually ginger, garlic, chillies and shallots). Ughhh I miss having sardines, my nearby lunch spot doesn't serve it.

* ETA on the sauce. I forgot western sardines are packed in oil/brine
posted by cendawanita at 5:59 AM on July 19, 2018 [5 favorites]

for a second i thought it said ayn brand and it was a horrible libertarian advertising agency

Shhhhs, you'll give Elon Musk ideas.
posted by Fizz at 6:01 AM on July 19, 2018

From the article:
Canned goods were seen as luxury items in Asia in the days before refrigeration, and were generally out of the reach of ordinary people since they were imported. But Clouet wanted to bring them to the masses.
I always love thinking about how perceptions of wealth/privilege vary with time/location. What might be considered a sign of privilege in one part of the world is consider a sign of hardship in another.
posted by Fizz at 6:08 AM on July 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

cendawanita, I miss sardine kari pup so bad, with the diced potatoes, sold on the corner from auntie's bucket
posted by infini at 10:54 AM on July 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

Gdi infini I am in a food dessert right now with no sardine karipap in sight!!
posted by cendawanita at 9:20 PM on July 19, 2018

Omg this is unbelievable
posted by destrius at 8:51 AM on July 20, 2018

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