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30 September 2010

Leaving China


(Image found HERE)

September has come to an end and that means we must bid farewell to China. I don't know about you, but I learned a lot about Chinese food that I didn't know before. I honestly had no idea they had traditional bread recipes. That sounds ignorant, but do YOU ever get baskets of hot coconut buns at Chinese restaurants prior to your Egg Fu Yung? If you do, call me! I want to eat where YOU eat :)

China was my test run for this new blog adventure and I think it went off quite nicely. There was so much I learned that I wasn't able to share (time constraints, you know) but it's info that I'll take with me and hopefully be able to explore in depth at a later date.

For starters, I'm drinking more green tea. Practically every day! It's good for you, you should try it. Tazo makes a really refreshing one with lemongrass and spearmint, aptly named "Zen". I've met many people who don't care for green tea and I think I may know why. They steep it too long. Black teas and herbal teas, which we as a culture drink more of than green and white, can be steeped up to five minutes without getting that pungent, bitter taste that many green tea haters lament. Green tea, however, needs to be steeped for no longer than three minutes in water that JUST CAME TO A BOIL. That's the other secret. Don't use water that's been boiling in the kettle for a minute and a half. It goes against all convention, but watch that pot. When you start to hear the water simmering, pay close attention to the spigot. When steam starts to come out, turn the heat off and pour the water over the green tea. Set your time for two and a half minutes and voila! Green tea without the burnt bitterness.

I also discovered that I'm in love with wontons and could eat them every day. Seriously. Yum. In fact, the more I think about it, I wonder if I could fill them with cheese. You know, like ravioli. Ravioli soup. China meets Italy. Could there be any greater culinary delight? Yes, I'm well aware that I'm a bit strange.

China has SO MUCH to offer, not just in food, but in culture and art. I'd have to spend a year (or more) reseraching and exploring these places in order to communicate all my interests and fascinations. If you have the time and the inclination, do a little Google searching on your own. I think you'll be amazed at what you find! And feel free to drop me an email with your discoveries. I'd love to hear about them.

So what's next for our virtual trek? October will find me gallivanting across the Himalayas in search culinary delights and random facts from Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. I'm not at all ashamed to say that I harbor a deep seated desire to visit these three, mysterious countries. Kathmandu calls to me. Yak butter tea intrigues me. The idea of a country who's sole concern is Gross National Happiness as opposed to Gross Nation Profit sings with promises of Shangrila.

Until next week, dear Vagabloggers, I bid you adieu. Or, as they would say in China,
yī lù shùn fēng and mànmàn chī!
(bon voyage and bon appetit)

Jen

6 comments:

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I love green tea! I agree using the right temperature water and not oversteeping make a big difference. Zen is good, but there are many types of green tea available. Adagio.com has a good selection.

Quinn said...

I studying in China for a month a few years ago. I loved the food. I haven't had a chance to look through your older posts, but I will :)

Love the wontons stuffed with cheese idea. I may have to try and make my own.

If you ever do a virtual tour of Korea, be sure to email me. I'm living in Korea now (and have been for 3 years) and can help. I even cook Korean food most nights at home.

Brian Miller said...

nice. interested to see where your palate takes us...wontons are the bomb...

Melissa said...

Wow. China sounds absolutely amazing and it seems like you really have learned a lot. Can't wait to hear about more of your adventures!

Kittie Howard said...

You're a great tour guide, Jen. I learned a lot about Chinese food. And the tea, well, I'm one of those who boiled the water, so can now reform, not pretend I liked that bitter taste, yuck!

Looking forward to your next adventure.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

This is such a fun idea.