The Willy Wonka of Muslims Invents a Ramadan Fasting Pill
Azhak Hussam is positioning himself to be something like the Willy Wonka of Muslims. The Garden Grove cosmetics company owner (with a background in pharmacy, according to this article in Anaheim-based, InFocus, a Muslim newspaper) has invented what he calls, the Ramadan Fasting Tablet, which, if it works, will be for Muslims what Willy Wonka's three-course stick of gum was for a voracious Violet Beauregarde.
The concept is so modern and of its time, it hurts: a chewy, "Belgian" chocolaty "tablet" enriched with vitamins and herbs (Argentine yerba mate, among them) will help Muslims the world over feel like they're not fasting when they're, um, fasting.
Hussam says he was inspired by his grandma -- too old and too fragile to fast, the poor viejita couldn't participate in the fasting rituals of Ramadan and it broke her her heart. Ever the loving grandson, Hussam took his skills and his connections to the lab, and to China (to get the Chinese herb part of the mix down), and created his Ramadan tablets, which he says will boost fasters' energy levels, provide them with the day's necessary nutrients, make them feel less thirsty and hungry and (as a bonus?) can also be used for "dieting." That's the suspicious part.
Although there have been the obvious objections to the little Ramadan pill (why fast if you're not going to feel the fast?), Hussam insists his tablets are intended not as a fast substitute, but as a way to help replace some of the lost energy in the busy lives of modern Muslims. He's promised to donate $1 of every bottle sold to the Muslim charity of the buyer's choice, so we'll buy Hussam's good (money-making) intentions for now.
No mention of whether or not the chocolaty tablets have side effects, but if you spot any inflated, Belgian chocolate-colored worshipers being wheeled out of their mosques this Ramadan (which begins in late August), you'll know who the culprit is.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.