cpa314's Profile

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Asian ?savory/salty treat

Perhaps items you would find in a Chinese candy box?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_...

Dec 18, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Grand Cuisines of the World

Of course taste is subjective but I think when people identify "Great" Cuisines, it is generally by the historical influence the cuisine has had. For example, Chinese cuisine's influence is very evident in the cuisines of Asia in general as seen in the use of things such as soy sauce, tofu, chopsticks, the wok,etc.. It's not an argument of which cuisine is better than the other. I guess I am just curious as to how food writers came to the conclusion that Chinese and French were quintessential "Grand Cuisines".

Dec 18, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Grand Cuisines of the World

I'm not sure if historically Korea would fit into the 3rd factor. The climate there was not exactly beneficial to the growing of a large variety of fresh vegetables... hence, the emphasis on pickled vegetables such as Kimchi to allow for the consumption of vegetables during harsh Winter months.

Dec 18, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Grand Cuisines of the World

I often see Japanese being listed as the 3rd of the "great" cuisines nowadays but going by those 3 factors alone I suppose Japanese cuisine cant really be included due historically lacking access to a variety of spices, ingredients, as well as being basically pesco vegetarian. It seems Japanese culinary influence on world culinary culture is relatively recent in comparison to the historical influences of Chinese and French cuisine. Going by those 3 factors, Indian cuisine could be included no? They had access to an extremely large variety of spices/ingredients just like the Chinese, and I do believe the royal Mughal kitchens would qualify for factor #1.

Dec 18, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Grand Cuisines of the World

Reading through alot of food related writing, I often find writers mentioning Chinese and French as the world's "great" cuisines. Sometimes, you'll also hear Mexican, Indian, and Japanese. What do you think compels writers to declare Chinese and French as "great" cuisines? I would guess part of it is due to the immense impact that both cuisines had on the cultures of their respective geographical boundaries. To be honest, i'm not very knowledgable about French cuisine but I love Chinese and Indian cuisine for the sheer diversity of flavors, ingredients, and styles of preparation. I am sure everyone has their own criteria for "great" cuisines but I am curious as to what everyone else would choose if they were to determine their own list of "grand" cuisines. For me, Chinese and Indian would definitely be on the list.... French as well for it's impact on Western culinary culture in general..

Dec 18, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Favorite fusion/globalization food item

I second banh mi but as Terrieltr said, where do you draw the line between "traditional" and "fusion". I mean, historically, food and food culture was continuously changing, evolving and absorbing foreign influence in terms of ingredients, ideas, as well as techniques. Hmm, i'll also throw in Kung Pao Pastrami via David Bowien's Mission Chinese Food. Good stuff right there!

Dec 14, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Asian desserts...why don't I like them?

Hmm, which Chinese sweets are you referring to? Because the Japanese sweets that you named all have very similar tastes to quite a few Chinese sweets as well. Perhaps, you just haven't had the chance to sample some other Chinese sweets you may like? If you like mochi, you can try Chinese tang yuan. They are rice balls(like mochi) but usually boiled in a sweet soup and filled with black sesame or red bean among other fillings. Actually, Yokan is a sweet that the Japanese learned from China in ancient times. I quite like the ones with dried dragoneye fruit. As for the toasted mochi with kinako, in Sichuan they eat a kind of mochi which is also dusted with roasted soybean flour and then drizzled with brown sugar syrup. I think you would like it. Its called San Da Pao

Dec 14, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Chinese Food on Christmas Day

Sounds good to me. I mean, Why not!? Chinese food is great! Heck, I could eat it practically everyday. The Japanese have a tradition of ordering big buckets of KFC fried chicken for Christmas so I dont see anything inherently incorrect about having Chinese food on Christmas.... it may not be "traditional" but as long as your enjoying the meal and having a good time

Dec 14, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

What makes Chinese food so popular as take-out?

Like mentioned earlier, there is quite alot of Chinese take-out restaurant pretty much anywhere you go in the US as well as other countries. In Vancouver, I used to frequently from this Chinese take-out place that did both American-Chinese style food as well as some more authentic stuff. It was reasonably priced, convenient, and tasted pretty good too. Personally, I dont think stir-frys taste that great reheated but some of the claypot stuff tastes nice even reheated. Now that I think of it, we also have quite a few Japanese take-out places that I would often order sushi from when I didn't want to have Chinese. In terms of reheatability though, I find that alot of Indian food microwaves pretty well.

Dec 14, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Top Street Food Destinations

Taiwan has awful food? Not sure where you've been eating but from my experience the food in Taiwan was awesome!

Nov 18, 2012
cpa314 in China & Southeast Asia

Why do chinese restaurants insist on having "secret" Chinese menus their English-Speaking customers can't decipher?

I guess for a few reasons. They've probably had more than enough times when a customer would order a more "adventurous" dish, found it disgusting, and would then complain to the chef. It seems like it would be a more of a hassle to have those items on the English menu when your average "American" customer would most likely find them to be off-putting. To be honest, I dont very many Americans that can really comprehend or appreciate some of the more "adventurous" dishes loved by many Chinese. I guess that judging from their experience of seeing too many customers order the typical sweet sour pork/chow mein/lemon chicken kind of stuff, they found it a waste of time and energy to translate it into English or even cook it for customers who are likely to find it unappetizing. It is unfair for those more adventurous eaters that dont happen to read Chinese but at the same time I do understand where the restaurant owners are coming from as well.

Aug 04, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Asian Sesame Paste

If you go to any Chinese or general Asian market it should be pretty easy to find "Asian" sesame pastes. They are usually separated into black and white sesame paste. Black is more common for desserts like tang yuan while white for cold noodles, ban ban ji, and things of that sort. Next time when you go to your local Chinese market you can try asking them about it. Here are the Chinese characters for white sesame paste 白芝麻醬

As Sal mentioned, Tahini really isnt a very suitable substitute for Chinese sesame paste considering the taste is quite different due to the roasting process.

Aug 04, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

Top Street Food Destinations

To be perfectly honest, calling Singapore a "street food" destination is a bit questionable. It guess it depends on your definition of street food. Most of the "street food" in Singapore are in the hawker stalls... Havent been to Penang but I've heard good things about the street food there. Bangkok is a true street food city and the quality of the street food there does indeed best Singapores. Im surprise Taipei didnt make the list. Im guessing its because its alot less known internationally than Singapore is but Taipei's countless night markets have endless amounts of great street food. Some night markets like Ningxia are more or less completely dedicated to street food alone. Picture a whole street lined with just food stalls!

Aug 04, 2012
cpa314 in China & Southeast Asia

What are you favour 3 cuisines?

1. Chinese
2. Vietnamese
3. Japanese

If I could choose a 4th, it would be Italian

Aug 04, 2012
cpa314 in General Topics

What's Your Favorite "Food" Movie?

I second "Eat,Drink,Man,Woman"! The opening scene was just awesome... a real showcase of the complexity of Chinese cuisine. Recently watched Jiro dreams of sushi and I enjoyed it alot too.

Aug 04, 2012
cpa314 in Food Media & News