Thursday, November 13, 2008
Diaspora is the basis of many cuisines. With the movement of bodies, comes a movement of minds, cultures, and knowledge of food. Greatness comes of this clash of peoples; the mesh of culture and more specifically the fusion of food.
Fusion foods and cuisines fascinates me. It can often be mainstream culture, not as in kitsch, but as in who people are; a representation of what people call home. The best way to experience culture is when it is served to you on a plate, in a bag, with a side a love, and time. The kind of culture that is meant to be injested, to be enjoyed, and to be inspiring.
Though tragic wars do take place, it is because of these wars that the birth of GREAT cuisine is possible!
It brings people together.
It's part of our everyday lives.
It's part of our after lives. Our family's after lives.
It's universal. It's individual.
Savored. Taken for granted.
It's emotional. Sweet. Bitter. Spicy. Sour. Salty.
It's who we are. What we do.
What we eat.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Don't you just love the curve balls mother nature throws at us sometimes? She obviously has a sense of humor too.
So, because I am of legal drinking age in Canada, I leaped at my chance to have a drink at a restaurant. What I really wanted was a lava flow, and when I asked the waitress what kind of drinks their bar offers, she told me that it was a almost a full bar and asked me what I would like. And just to throw it out there, I absolutely LOVE pina coladas and lava flows (virgin in the states of course). So I asked the waitress if I could have a lava flow. She gave me a look of confusion and asked me what a lava flow was. I looked back at her with an even more confused look and thought to myself, "You say you almost have a full bar...yet you have not the slightest idea what a lava flow is?" So I told her that it was a pina colada with blended strawberries. And ofcourse she replied that she doesn't think the bar has the ingredients to make that and asked if I would like a strawberry dacquiri or strawberry magarita as a second choice. I opted for the dacquiri. And it was okay, my only complaint would be that the ice was too coarse; and that complaint would be besides the fact that they didn't have my beloved lava flow!
Friday, August 29, 2008
BOW FALLS (MARILYN MONROE FILMED RIVER OF NO RETURN HERE) ATHABASKA GLACIERS IN JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Thursday, August 28, 2008
To my disappointment, the selection was limited, not as expansive as say... the Wynn in Las Vegas.
Knowing me, I made an effort to try a bit of everything: the potato salad, the shrimp cocktail, the deviled eggs, the roast pork with apple sauce from the carving station, the lox (of course...it's Canada), the chicken, and the snapper; but my favorite of all were the king crab legs (o...but this was all before I hit the desert table by storm of course). They were a bit difficult to crack open since, to my surprise, they weren't pre-crack nor was a nut cracker or shears provided. One can really chip a tooth or two trying to use man power to crack those legs open.
"Can i get half and half please?"
"Sure! Of course!" the waiter delightedly replied, "That's a very good choice!"
Now, the meal was okay, not the BEST buffet I've ever eaten (The Wynn in Vegas still remains number one), I'd give it 3.5 stars out of 5. But the most memorable part was the passion fruit mousse. To die for. Tangy, tart, and deliciously sweet passion fruit mousse topped with vanilla bean whipped cream, toasted coconut flakes, and a dot of raspberry coolie in a mini champagne flute. Say what?! Crazy right! This was the single most memorable part of the entire meal. My mouth waters just thinking about it!
Apple juice is the orchard's main staple product in addition to peaches, blueberrie, pears, plums and cherries and a variety of dried fruits as well. Thier fresh apple juice is the main attraction and a public favorite and I can see why. Its pure and deep brown color suggests that it has not been fully filtered like the apple juice that you see on your store shelves. And because there are absolutely no preservatives added, you must drink fast, because it is extremely perishable. Trust me, you won't have any trouble drinking this juice quickly because it's sweet and rich apple taste is absolutely addictive, the only trouble you'll be having, is trying to stop yourself from purchasing another bottle.
This juice is thicker than your ordinary run of the mill supermarket apple juice, and definitely has a more full-bodied apple flavor thats "of the earth" and to be enjoyed by an all-natural kind of person.I also took the liberty of trying two types of apple ice wine to compare with that of the grape. The two that I tried were the Ambrosia and the Braeburn. The Ambrosia is a lighter but still sweet wine with a drier taste than the Braeburn. The Braeburn is sweeter more syrupy and more amber in color than the Ambrosia. It has a more pungent apple flavor and is the one that stole my heart. So, it's the one I purchased. (Plus it was MUCH MUCH more affordable than the grape ice wine, but is made in a similar process)
My tummy is still lingering on the togo Chinese food I shared with my mom last night (this was in addition to my curry). It was actually pretty good. But with the four layered tuna sandwhich (ham, egg, tuna, and cucumber fitting nice and neatly in between flive slices of white decrusted bread) and the 21 fruits and 5 veggies juice I bought yesterday at the Yaohan market awaiting me in a plastic baggy, I'm ready to head towards the Rockies!
Tonight im enjoying just a small piece of it.
As I walked into the shopping plaza call Yaohan, a well-known shopping center in Hong Kong, it brought back nostalgic memories of my past trips to Hong Kong as a child. There was a Chinese supermarket when I first entered on my left hand side, little kiosk stands selling sweat pants, house slippers and other miscellanious items, and to my right was the food court.
I made a trip to the supermarket first to buy some breakfast for tomorrow, and to take a look at what they had. It's always fun to explore new supermarkets.
After buying some food for tomorrow's breakfast and road trip, I made my way out to the food court wehre there were a handful of Chinese food stands.
As i made my way around the food court, one stand in particular caught my eye; a curry stand. Well, you ask, how can something so simple as a Chinese curry stand catch my eye? My answer would be, because they were selling curry fish balls with pork skin. Mmm Mmm delicious.
It's a quiet little stand in one corner of the food court. Discrete, white; nothing flashy nothing fancy, just a stand with tubs of fish ball and pork skin curry. One wiff of that mouth watering curry made me salivate like crazy.
White bouncy fish balls and crunchy pig skin soaked through and through with a liquidy curry sauce waiting on a hungry passer-by to stop for a taste.
I asked the lady behind the counter how the curry was sold, she replied in Chinese "one dollar for three fish balls adn one dollar for five pieces of pork skin. What a steal! (Pretty good deal considering the exchange rate is 1 dollar US for 90 cents Canadian, since the US dollar isn't worth anything these days). And it turns out that when they put the fish balls and pork skin in a bowl for customers, they drain off the liquidy curry and pour on a more viscous and more pungent (and SPICY) curry on top. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into this dish!
When I got back to my hotel room, the first thing I busted out of its plastic bag was the curry fish balls and pork skin, and let me tell you, you really have to try it yourself because words can't even begin to describe how good this was. Very similar to that of Hong Kong. Who knew that I would be taking a culinary trip to Hong Kong in Vancouver.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
(picture still to come)
So here's the website: http://www.vanillabakeshop.com/cake_menu.html
As the link suggests, this quaint little cake shop is called Vanilla Bake Shop and is located in Santa Monica. I haven't tried it yet but my friend says that in his opinion, it's better than Sprinkles (a high-end cupcake shop). GASP! I know, impossible right? I don't know I guess I'm going to have to find out. I'll let you know once i've tried it.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Giant Turkey Leg and Giant Western Sausage with peppers and onions
I should probably mention that I had a chili cheese dog, grilled corn and a fried twinkie before indulging in the GIANT turkey leg (which...I have to admit was delicious, but it defeated me), and before washing it all down with a sweet and tangy frozen lemonade. A perfect recipe for a satisfying food coma.
I probably spent about $40-50 on food alone that evening, but it was worth it.
Great food, great company, great evening.
I love the fair!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
As I browsed though the menu, the steak salad caught my eye. Earthy cilatro, ice berg lettuce, carrots, shredded red cabbage, a spicy chili, fish sauce, lime dressing all topped with a perfectly tender medium rare skirt steak (or it could have been flank steak I'm not too sure) made for an amazing combination of food. It was one of the best Asian salads I had ever eaten. Although the spicyness (which I had regretfully asked for VERY spicy) kicked my butt, the intense and pungent aromas of the sweet, spicy, and savory flavors chili, fish sauce, and lime, (one of my favorite combinations) had my tastebuds screaming for more.
Green Curry (straw mushrooms, egg plant, bamboo, asparagus)
Mango and Sticky Rice (brown sticky rice, mango, and condensed milk)
Thursday, June 26, 2008
It really is a shame that there aren't street food vendor's on American streets. I think the closest thing we get to street food would be taco trucks...and believe me it's a lot better than your local taco bell...A LOT BETTER and it's affordable! And let's face it, half the fun of eating at a taco truck comes from sitting curb-side with maize tortillas filled with lengua (cow tongue) or whatever kind of meat you like, salsa verde, onions, cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and a side of radish for a buck twenty five each to brighten up your day. Yes folks, I did say "a buck twenty five", did your jaw drop or what!? And this place that some friends of mine discovered on a late night snack run (yes, it's open 24 hours) has tacos that are reminiscent of taco trucks and worth the travel.
I decided to take a little 4 mile drive to one of the best taqueria places I've had since I've been living in Orange County. Taqueria De Anda in Santa Ana. YUMMMM!!! Now, I grew up with taco trucks in San Francisco and if you love taco truck tacos, man is this the place for you. Sure Taqueria De Anda looks a little drab on the outside...and sure, it's definitely not your five star restaurant on the inside either, BUT C'MON it's a taqueria for Pete's sake and all that's on my mind when my stomach is roaring "TACOS!" is this place.
Nestled just beyond a set of railroad tracks in Santa Ana California, this place serves some of the most authentic tacos I've had thus far. The large dark beige building with a children's play train at the far right of the building makes it look somewhat like a McDonalds, and the interior isn't that far from it either. The large white trimmed windows light up the red tile floors and the plastic booths and tables inside the dining area. The lengua, cabesa, pollo, and carne esada are put in metal tubs that are heated with boiling water beneath it; similar to the way food is kept warm at a buffet. Each taco is made with two small maize tortillas and stuffed with meat, cilantro, onions, and salsa. Nothing fancy, nothing frilly; strictly practical. To the left of the cash register is a salad bar with two different types of salsa, radishes, key lime wedges, cilantro, and onions (I myself, opt for a TON of limes) And as a refreshment order up a nice big 'ole cup of Horchata (rice milk).
Taqueria De Anda I would say is more of a Mexican food "joint" rather than a "restaurant". I know, I know, "joint"? YES! That's right. A food "joint". Although the word makes this establishment sound unreliable and disgusting (and it may seem so when you walk in) I believe you have to EARN the title of a food "joint". I associate the word with "authenticity" and "deliciousness"not to mention "affordability". When a taqueria serves lengua and cabesa (tongue and head, usually of a cow) and cooks it properly, it's worthy of five stars from me, and this place has go it!
The picture I supplied isn't of a taco from Taqueria De Anda, I nabbed it from http://www.bunrab.com/dailyfeed/dailyfeed_images_feb-07/df07_02-19_tongueo.jpg.
Disappointing I know. It looks similar, a little more dressy and styled than the real thing, but I was already 3/4 of the way done with my last taco before it even occurred to me that I should take a picture...but next time I go...I'll make it a point to remember!