Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Late Zhong

Yes, I know its been almost two weeks since Tuen Ng Festival but I've been busy stuffing my face with 'zhong', the official food of Tuen Ng.

I looove zhong but have been discouraged from eating it most of my life from friends and family whose concern that my body shape looks more zhongzi like by the mouthful.

However, my mother thankfully brought back some that a family friend wrapped herself. Being Taiwanese, these were Taiwanese zhong, somewhat smaller than its Cantonese counterparts and chubbier in status than its Shanghainese ones, which are elegantly long. Who says we're not what we eat?

Unlike the zhong that I blogged about during previous Tuen Ng Festivals, these were filled with glutinous rice, salted egg yolk, stewed pork, dried conpoy and shrimp as well as soft blanched peanuts. Rather than dark soy or granulated sugar, the Taiwanese prefer sweet chili sauce as accompaniment. Sweet with a slight tangy kick, it is perfect with the rich, fatty tasting zhong.

Definitely worth looking like a zhong for.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Head of the family

We were having dinner at home the other day, having bought half a roast duck for dinner when my Dad suddenly asked:

"Anyone want the head?"

We all looked at him incredulously, my Mom and I never ever dream of eating, let alone fighting anyone for a half a duck head.

When I asked to take a picture before he demolished it, he said:

"Why? It's only a duck head! You're wasting your time. No one wants to read about me eating a duck head!"

Lucky for you I managed to wrestle it from him before he put half the duck bill in his mouth.

And I managed a snapshot of the remains after he ate all the "edible" bits. I don't know why I'm decidedly unsqueamish about other animal brains but duck, pigeon and chicken freak me out.

Good thing the H5N1 bird flu virus wasn't found and announced until this Monday....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

La Bouffe de L'Amérique

As promised, a selection of food eaten in America during our honeymoon.

However, before I start this, I finally "get" why Americans complain and attempt to sue companies for making them obese. While I truly believe in personal choice making one a chubster (ahem, I take responsibility for my "orange shaped" silhouette), I do sympathize with them. The lack of healthy choices and the abundance of cheap, plentiful and convenient fast food in the States is quite a little surprising. On more than a few occasions, the boy and I found ourselves with the choice of buying either a hot fast meal at Roi du Hamburger or paying almost double (!!) for a two day old sandwich and water. Granted this was at an airport but it was a bit shocking how easy it was to just eat rubbish. When faced with a choice like that, we tried to placate the rumblings of our bellies with the trail mix from Paris I had in my travel bag. However, as you will see, we indulged in a LOT of junk! Hey, I may get why Americans complain but I take responsibility for my bad choices!

First up, one of the worst things you can put into your body. We were walking along the depressing and sad area of Fremont Street which was recommended by our guidebook in search of something, anything interesting when we saw the sign: Fried Oreos, Fried Twinkies.

Come on. As if you wouldn't!

So I did. It came in a little cardboard box of three deep fried Oreos sprinkled liberally with icing sugar and chocolate sprinkles. What you see in the background is a chocolate dipped frozen banana with nuts. Very yummy.

Surprisingly, the Oreos became quite soft and cake like after being fried. And was it good? Hell yes they were. I didn't think they would be but they were delicious. And as delicious as it was, the boy and I couldn't finish one each.

In Hawaii, we indulged in macadamia nut pancakes, which were way too heavy and doughy for first thing in the morning.

And in San Francisco, we had to have a bucket of seafood. We couldn't resist the siren call of the classic "Eat at Jo_'s" sign for the Joe's Crab Shack. To the boy's dismay, it was what he described as TGIF with a "crabby" theme. It was done up to look like a Disney interpretation of a crab shack. After some initial hesitation, we decided to stay, if mainly to watch the scaring antics of the "bush man".

Not to worry, we didn't just go for this kind of cheap and cheerful (and average) food, we also went to the somewhat touristy Alioto's where the boy had some impeccable lobster and I had some lovely sweet fleshed crab.

Of course, since we were on the West Coast, I couldn't help but drag the boy to In N Out for a tasty burger...animal style bien sur. We returned twice.... once right before our ride to the airport.

And I am still dreaming about the crab macaroni and cheese I had for breakfast one day.... so SO good..... luckily we had that bike ride across the Golden Gate bridge to burn off the unimaginable amount of fat in that dish.

So while not the best food I've had on vacation, certainly the variety and the fun we had made it all worthwhile.