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Grand Szechuan Near Bloomington Mn Cub Foods

OK, thanks.

Dec 23, 2014
scoopG in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Grand Szechuan Near Bloomington Mn Cub Foods

Put your review on CH here. I am not clicking on any link to a blog.

Chefs change and it is important to continually re-visit these places to monitor quality. I was not impressed with GS based on my visit four years ago. The issue I have when visiting the Twin Cities is that all depends on where I am staying and on how far I am willing to drive.

Dec 23, 2014
scoopG in Minneapolis-St. Paul

456 vs Shanghai Heping for XLB?

Haven't been to either recently but I think you will be satisfied at both.

456:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/770707

Shanghai Heping:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841090

Dec 22, 2014
scoopG in Manhattan

Bok choy

Try bringing them into the kitchen and having them help you when you cook. When children are invested and allowed to make some choices it will be much easier and they will have less reason to reject something they had some input into creating.

Dec 19, 2014
scoopG in Home Cooking
1

Being "put to work" at a Christmas Party

Suck it up and do whatever Roz says. You are her beatch.

Cilantro, new Chinese near Harvard Square

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb which produces two products: the coriander seed (from its dried mature fruit) and its leaves, known in the US by the plant’s Spanish name, cilantro. It is sometimes incorrectly called Chinese parsley. According to Bruce Cost, it is the most heavily consumed fresh herb on the planet.

There is written evidence in Chinese that it appeared there by the sixth century (C.E.) where it is known as 胡荽 húsuī or 芫荽 yánsui for coriander and 香菜 xiángcài for cilantro. The German Sinologist and anthropologist Berthold Laufer (1874-1934) reckons the herb arrived in China via Persia and the Chinese name 胡荽 húsuī may represent a transcription of the Persian name for it: koswi. It may also have arrived by sea or overland in China from India.

Both the seed and leaves are widely used in China, much as a western cook would use parsley; serving as a garnish and for flavoring in both fish and fowl dishes like the Cantonese Duck with Coriander and Suzhou Steamed Floured Carp among others.

The fruit, leaves and root are all used in traditional Chinese medicine, particularly for stomach disorders. The leaves contain good amounts of calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. The seed is very high in riboflavin, calcium and iron.

ETA:

Cilantro is quite popular in Northeastern Chinese cuisine, where it is used to make Tiger Salad. Once at a staff meal in Flushing, I observed the staff from Golden Palace eating a dish from the cilantro roots. Photo below.

Cilantro Roots with Hot Pepper Sauce
拌香菜根 - bànxiāngcàigēn

Tiger Salad:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/10/din...

Dec 08, 2014
scoopG in Greater Boston Area

Xiao Dong Bei in Flushing

Sorry, that was off the Chinese menu. It is:
紅燒肉燉白菜 - hóngshāoròu dùnbáicài
Red-cooked Pork and Cabbage Stew

What did you have?

Dec 04, 2014
scoopG in Outer Boroughs

Xiao Dong Bei in Flushing

I am not sure. I think it is more certain dishes, like Gong Bao Chicken, Cumin Lamb etc. and variations thereof that spread. I once asked the former owners of M&T (the Qingdao place in Flushing) now in Rowland Heights about the Shandong Beef Roll and they were not readily familiar with it. The other Qingdao place in Flushing has never served it as far as I know. I did not see it in eight days in Shandong Province in 2010, not that it doesn't exist there! But I certainly don't buy Clarissa Wei's claim that it is a dish with over a thousand year history.

Dec 04, 2014
scoopG in Outer Boroughs

Roast goose

There are many reasons why goose is not more popular in the US. Nearly 97% of poultry production here is chicken (broilers), chicken eggs and turkeys. Geese represent only 0.02% of the total production.

Geese farming is more popular in Asia and Central Europe where they are better suited to smaller farms.

Raising geese is more complicated than chickens, especially where down and feathers are involved. Special equipment is required as they are not easy to kill: they have many pinfeathers that are difficult to remove.

Geese are excellent grass foragers and thrive best when kept naturally protected from predators. They are picky eaters. One acre will support only 20-40 geese. They do not do well in enclosed spaces and their overall reproductive rate is comparatively low. They are not prolific egg layers, producing only one quarter of the amount of eggs that chickens do. Geese are usually slaughtered in November in the US and then frozen.

http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__pro...

Nov 25, 2014
scoopG in Greater Boston Area

Xiao Dong Bei in Flushing

Xiao Dong Bei (Little Northeastern) is the latest northeastern Chinese restaurant in Flushing – from owners Chef Hou Qiang (候强 - Hóu Qiáng ) and his wife Wang Chunling (王春玲 - Wáng Chūnlíng). Chef Hou is from Fushun, in Liaoning province and Ms. Wang is from Heilongjiang. They’ve been open about 16 months. It’s not large (but is bright and clean) with only eight tables and about 44 seats. Both times I was there they were fairly busy.

Xiao Dong Bei features a pan-Chinese menu with lots of Sichuan and Shanghai dishes in addition to Northeastern Chinese fare. It shows the popularity and spread of Sichuan and Shanghai style cuisines within China’s cities. A house specialty (which I did not try) is Steamed Fish Head with Chilies – originally a Hunan dish. Another is Fish Fragrant Pork – which has found its way onto American-Chinese menus.

The dumplings (Sour Cabbage and Pork; Leek, Shrimp and Egg) were solid northeastern presentations. Dried Fish with Korea Sauce was mildly spicy, cold and delicious. Their signature dishes were Twice Cooked Pork with Garlic Shoots – with homemade cured bacon and Conch with Special House Sauce. I've eaten far too many Twice Cooked Pork dishes recently but this is the best so far. The conch was expertly cooked and very tender. A surprise was Mixed Assorted – a plate of cold vegetables with a bean sauce on the side for dipping. Ms. Wang told me eating raw vegetables has been a staple of Northeastern Chinese cuisine at least for the past 30 years – especially right after harvest time. The salty and slightly hot jarred bean sauce was supplemented with eggs and ground pork. A slightly sweet Shredded Pork dish was served with sheets of tofu skin for wrapping. Red-cooked Pork with Cabbage Stew was a large hearty bowl of goodness.

The menu is in both English and Chinese – although they said they are getting ready to switch to their winter Chinese menu. They even have a large menu in English and Chinese with color photos. The staff is very friendly with at least two waiters named Michael - including one who used to work at Golden Palace. They offer about 24 lunch (11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) specials for $5.79 and that includes soup and rice.

Xiao Dong Bei (小東北 xiǎodōngběi)
133-51 37th Ave. (between Prince Street & College Point Blvd).
Flushing, NY 11354
Tel: 718-353-8998

Open everyday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight

Slideshow:
http://scoopg.smugmug.com/photos/swfp...

Nov 24, 2014
scoopG in Outer Boroughs
1

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Starting with the “First Emperor,” the Qin (221-206 BCE) started building a network of roads. One road ran 600 miles from the Qin capital of Xiangyang to Inner Mongolia. The Qin imperial highway system extended to 4,250 miles and the Han (206 BCE - 220 CE) expanded it. These were not simply dirt paths and included stone bridges, trestles, roadways suspended from wooden posts to run along cliffs etc. Illustrations of these appear on the walls of Han tombs. The Han system included rest houses where travelers could eat and sleep; and relay buildings where messengers exchanged exhausted horses for fresh ones.

Ex “The Early Chinese Empires: Qin and Han.” Mark Edward Lewis. Harvard University press; Cambridge, 2007.

Fast forward 500 years….

The Tang expanded the network of existing overland transportation and trade. Their tree-lined roads were made of packed earth and bowed in the center to drain rainwater off to the side. About two-thirds of the roads ran from the capitals (Chang’An and Luoyang) toward frontiers in the north. The Tang also established a rapid-relay postal system with 1,297 way stations placed at ten-mile intervals. Teams of horses were kept ready for quick changes. Rapid delivery was so important that delays were punished: 80 blows from a heavy rod for the first day past the deadline; two years of penal servitude if it was six days late.

Ex “China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty.” Mark Edward Lewis. Harvard University Press; Cambridge, 2009.

Nov 22, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

All depends on what type of horse, but in general one horse with rider could be expected to travel anywhere between 25 to 100 miles in one day.

Nov 22, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

And you're just trolling.

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Hookworm infection is just one of several fecal-borne diseases associated with human activities.

What's your point?

Nov 22, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

And your information is from where?

There are opinions and then there are facts.

Schafer details a system where Tang emperors ordered the "Commander of His Highness' Forest" to take any exotic plants/fruits/vegetables to be made available "for private banquet, public celebration or holy sacrifice."

Chinese poets, who were not part of the elite, drew inspiration from these exotic imports and wrote about them.

Melons, "popular during Tang summers" were often stored in jade ice urns, mentioned often by poets. It gave rise to the Chinese metaphor ""clear as the ice in a jade urn."

Like the Romans, the Tang liked to flavor their wine with saffron, which poet Li Bo described as "amber shining."

Over 200,000 foreigners lived in Canton alone in the 9th century - mostly traders and merchants bringing in goods.

Nov 22, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

I should have brought this up sooner, to add to the night soil discussion...

Frederick J. Simoons addresses the night soil (human extrecta) issue in his “Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry.” CRC Press; Boca Raton, 1991. pp 470-472.

From a 1936 study:

While proper cooking removes the danger of helminthic ova (infectious parasite eggs), certain types of vegetables were eaten raw or partially cooked in the Yangtze Delta. Among the most common plant foods consumed raw were onions, ginger, lettuce, radish, cucumber, coriander and a form of melon; all of which were washed, and then without cooking, eaten with flavorings such as soy sauce, sesame paste or vinegar. In addition there were many other vegetables that were cooked for just a few minutes.

From a 1921 study:

“Though it has often been observed that eating raw foods is rare among the modern Han Chinese, garlic, leeks and cabbage were consumed raw or partially cooked, so that when children were old enough to eat vegetables, infection in the intestinal round worm (Ascaris lumbricoides) was nearly universal, occurring in 95% of young people.

Nov 21, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

And these fruits were available for the masses? I think not.
----------------------------
You know the answer or are just speculating?

It is entirely possible that enterprising Chinese merchants also got involved at some point. (Obviously I have to do more research).

The point is that it is clear that Tang China had a sophisticated transportation/communication system in place to transport and deliver high quality perishables over long distances.

Nov 21, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

China is (and never has been) one monolithic culture. Asking "Chinese people" is really no different than asking Americans, or better yet, Europeans.

While the European cultures separated over language differences, China united under them. A Cantonese person is as different from a Shandong person as an Italian would be from a German. Same similarities too! :)

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

...So food cultures grow based on what is naturally available and can be grown...

...Of course trade occurred but generally not in fresh perishable produce...
------------------------------------------

I have to ask PhilD: where are you getting your information from?

Tang Chinese had FedEx before Fedex did!

Schafer tells the story of Lady Yang, the Precious Consort of Emperor Xuanzhong (玄宗 Xuánzōng; 685-762 BCE) who craved fresh lichees. They were transported from Guangzhou over the length of China – 1600Km/995 miles. These “delicate fruits, which loose their color in one day and aroma in two arrived in Chang’An unimpaired.”

“Mare-nipple grapes” were transported “fresh and intact” across the Gobi desert, from the Tang garrison in Turpan (Xinjiang) to the capital – a distance of 2360 Km/1465 miles..

Watermelons were packed in snow and placed in leaden containers at Khwarezm in Central Asia and then shipped to Chang’An - a distance of around 3000 Km/1860 miles.

Tangerines with stems were sealed in wax and shipped from Sichuan. They were packed in bamboo baskets covered with layers of vegetable leaves so "they will not be moved or shaken by the horse." They upgraded to packing paper in the 9th century.

Many plants as well as seeds were brought in. Ice was available since the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BCE) and the Tang had ice houses, ice pits, ice boxes and ice urns. Schafer concludes that with such resources available to the Tang court, “we may be confidant that equally adequate arraignments secured the safe transport of fruits, flowers, desirable seedlings from remote places within the Tang jurisdiction.”

The enormity of Tang imports is simply astounding: from elephants to ferrets, birds, all manner of furs and feathers, grapes and grape wine, vegetables, seafood, aromatics, drugs, textiles, industrial minerals, jewels, metals, books and more.

Schafer (1913-1991) by the way, spent his entire 40+ year career studying the Tang and poured through primary Chinese source material. That bibliography runs three pages. His secondary source material bibliography is 19 pages long and includes works printed in Chinese, German, Japanese as well as English of course.

Nov 21, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

I can't believe anyone hasn't posted about #grapegate yet

Also the NYT recipe from our nation's capital is actually from the "District of Colombia" wherever that is!

Nov 21, 2014
scoopG in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Are there not big mountains on the borders? They tend to act as a physical division that insulates populations...
--------------------------------

While on the surface, that appears to be true geographically speaking, the Chinese experience in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) provides a counterpoint.

Sinologist Edward H. Schafer’s seminal work, “The Golden Peaches of Samarkand” (University of California Press; Berkeley, 1963) explores in great detail the vast imports into Tang China. Their appetite for the exotic was enormous.

Both overland caravans and sea routes were well established. Korean ships dominated the Yellow Sea and made port along the Shandong coast. From the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea ships of “many nations set sail,” stopping at Muscat, Malabar, Ceylon, Malaysia en route to Hanoi or Canton. Some of these ships were 200 feet long and carried crews of over 500 men.

In addition to the Silk Road, there was an overland route that stretched from Sichuan through Yunnan to Burma to Bengal. There was also a long “circuitous and difficult route through Tibet to India” by way of Nepal.

Cambodia, known to the Tang as Chinrap was an “uneasy protectorate.” From there sugar cane, bananas, betel nuts, cloves and more made its way into China. There were also exchanges with Burma and it looks like elite Tang were fond of both Burmese and Camdodian elephants!

Nov 21, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

I can't believe anyone hasn't posted about #grapegate yet

Exactly, The NYT had at least a year to get this right. Did they solicit any input from more than unnamed heiriesses across the land?

Most of the responses from Minnesota have been downright funny. The NYT prides itself on being our so-called national newspaper of record.

More fun is the NYT response. Have you seen their Facebook page? Editor Sam Sifton digs his heels in and replies to the Grape naysayers by providing a link to check out a Lutheran church cookbook with the great grape salad recipe.

Turns out the Lutheran church cookbook is from Illinois!

Some folks in Pennsylvania are not too happy about their dish – bacon strips glazed with brown sugar. As my friend Anya, (a culinary historian from PA and published author) says: it is a horrible example of sugary pseudo-Pennsylvania Dutch food from a long-ago tourist-trap restaurant.

She also has an issue with the Delaware choice: It is clear the author knows little about Winterthur or the du Ponts. Cooks just weren't using the term "zucchini" at the time this Pauline Foster Du Pont was supposed to have concocted the recipe.

Nov 20, 2014
scoopG in Minneapolis-St. Paul

I can't believe anyone hasn't posted about #grapegate yet

Here is Lee Dean's take. She's served on the cookbook committee at the James Beard Awards for several years:

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/...

I grew up in the Twin Cities and have lots of family still there. Never heard of it, never saw it and never ate it.

Nov 20, 2014
scoopG in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

The Chinese also drew a distinction between clean vs. dirty (or poisonous) foods. Dirty foods were of known toxicity, like the livers of certain fish or foods that were not toxic but not recommended. Simoons says such dirty foods were often combinations: persimmon & crab, honey & garlic, green beans and dog meat. Some were bad for sick people but AOK for the well. Shrimp was believed to retard the healing of an open wound but harmless to the uninjured.

Some food items were avoided because of the physical or psychological qualities they had: squid lacks red blood so it could be avoided. (I would not think many Chinese pass up squid today!) Got measles or smallpox? Steer clear of sesame seeds, mung beans and nuts for awhile - only because these foods resembled the physical manifestations of those diseases - the pustules themselves. And of course all sorts of ideas surfaced about what pregnant women should and shouldn’t eat or drink. Some of these traditions are still practiced today.

Yet a further dichotomy is wet and dry, considered less important than hot/cold. Juicy shellfish are wet but dry-roasted peanuts are not. (E. N. Anderson says this wet/dry distinction was seldom cited in Southern China in matters of food selection).

Also coming into play is the yin/yang philosophy, which the hot/cold, clean/dirty and wet/dry concepts fit nicely into.

Nov 20, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

According to Frederick J. Simoons (“Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry.” CRC Press; Boca Raton, 1991) the Greek physician/philosopher Hippocrates (460-370 BCE) was a “noted advocate though not originator” of the hot/cold concept.

From ancient Greece, the idea may have spread to the Islamic world and then introduced by the Spanish to the New World:

Manderson, Lenore. (1987) “Social Science and Medicine.” Hot-Cold Food and Medical Theories, Vol. 25; pp. 329-300.

Messer, Ellen. (1987) “Social Science and Medicine.” The Hot and Cold in Meseoamerican Indigenous and Hispanic Thought, Vol. 25; pp. 339-346.

The hot/cold notion also may have spread from Greece by way of Persia to India:

Peterson, Wendy. (1973) “The Hot-cold Food Concept: An Introduction.” Seminar Report in Geography; UC Davis.

Walker, Benjamin. “The Hindu World.” Frederick A. Praeger; New York, 1968.

The hot/cold food philosophy may have originated in India and spread from there:

Jelliffe, Derrick B. & F.J. Bennett. (1960) “Journal of Pediatrics.” Vol. 57; pp. 248-261

Nov 19, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

As mentioned, most foods are considered neutral or only slightly hot or cold. Rice is "conspicuously cold" according to Frederick J. Simoons (former professor at UC Davis). Think about that for a minute. Could an ancient theory about hot/cold foods in China afford to have labeled rice hot or cold?

Nov 19, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

This hot /cold attribution is much more than classifying individual foods as hot or cold. Also, it is different from Qi or "life energy".

Food selection for Qi is all about enhancing one’s life energy: to correct any imbalance, create resistance to illness or for restorative purposes. High protein foods help to strengthen Qi for example.

Anthropologist E.N. Andersen believes the original origin of the hot-cold idea comes from ancient Greece and India and that it was likely introduced in China by Buddhists. He claims that as in other parts of the world there is no “unanimity in China” as to which foods are hot and which are cold. Most foods were actually neutral, or only slightly hot or cold. Some scholars believe that the hot/cold notion may have lived with some Native American tribes before first-contact.

Food, drugs and diseases were also classified as hot or cold. In Chinese, influenza and dysentery are hot diseases. Both ingredients used and their prep methods contribute to their ultimate hot or cold-ness. A “cold” dish might be made “hot” by adding chili. A boiled dish of something might still be considered cool. Cantonese view boiled rice as neutral but congee is cold. While steaming and stewing are neutral, grilling, roasting and baking are not etc.

Nov 18, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Where is Manhattan food heading? Good or bad?

Lok Lok:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/977668

Have not managed to eat here yet. Glad to hear they are still going strong.

Nov 17, 2014
scoopG in Manhattan

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Any Chinese restaurants in the SGV that serve raw vegetables, as described above? (Zhanjiangcai 蘸醬菜 zhàn jiàng cài) or "dipping sauce vegetables). Photo upthread...

Nov 17, 2014
scoopG in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

As you imply, do you find this to be something new to a modern Chinese dining scene? If so, what changed?
------------------------

China's explosive growth over the past 35 years: greater abundance and wealth and an end to food rationing. Eating of raw vegetables is much more common in the north and northeast. In the northeast these dishes are commonly called Zhanjiangcai (蘸醬菜 zhàn jiàng cài) or "dipping sauce vegetables.

Nov 17, 2014
scoopG in General Topics