Monday, February 26, 2007

Noodle making...

I'm a bit behind, but here's a clip I shot at the 2006 Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival:

Nothing better than fresh noodles!

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

新年快樂! Happy Lunar New Year!

Welcome, Year of the Golden Pig! That's right, it's lunar new year. A time when most Asian families gather together, celebrate and of course, eat, eat, eat!

As I'm away from most of my family this year, I've been celebrating quietly with my roomates and friends, who don't have family here either. Our new year's eve meal was seafood-not quite traditional, but it was tasty!

In Chinese tradition there are lots of foods that symbolize different things for the coming year. Some are eaten and some are offered at altars big and small. Last year I wrote three extensive posts on the foods of Chinese lunar new year, so I won't dally too long on the subject but give you some pics I've taken this year here in Taipei.

Last week I went shopping at a special lunar new year food bazaar and bought a ton of snacks.

Sweets anyone?

I have yet to try sea cucumbers. They look icky but I won't hold that against them.

Do you think he was able to make a choice?

And here's a two pics of my new year's eve meal last night:

The top photo is my first bowl of shark's fin soup. The texture was gelatinous and goopy, reminding me of these little blobby toys that I had as a child which I would throw at the wall and watch it slowly slime its way down to the floor. Of course, I didn't flick the soup against the wall, but my first few sips gave me the impression that the soup was missing something. Sure enough, my host informed me that it tastes worlds better with vinegar. She was completely right. It added depth to the soup and cut into the gooiness. There shark's fin was a fine mesh like substance that didn't really taste much of anything, to be honest. The flavor of the soup had an undercurrent of chinese medicinal herbs, which could explain part of its huge popularity in Asia.

The second photo is the half asian lobster (sorry, don't know the specific name) which I could eat a small piece as my allergies to shellfish have become more severe in the last year. My small bit though was a succulent and almost sweet taste of lobster meat. It was perfectly steamed, topped with shredded scallions and ginger. Unfortunately, a single bite was all I could allow myself and my roomate devoured the rest of it (with a huge satisfied smile).

With that, I'm going to end this post with a big Gong Xi Fa Cai!


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