新年快乐！Food Ergo Love would like to wish all of our readers a Happy Chinese New Year! 2014 is the year of the horse, and we look forward to celebrating this exciting year with food, fun, and people. I am in Guangdong (广东) for the week visiting friends and experience a traditional Chinese New Year. Be sure to look for my next post next week, because it will contain tons of photos of delicious Guangdong food, as well as exciting and humorous stories. Have a great year!
When our ancient ancestors ventured out of their caves to find food, I seriously doubt they were concerned about the vitamin and mineral content of their food. After all, if you could forage some roots, then you could eat. And if you could kill an entire animal, then everyone in your clan could eat for weeks. But in this modern age, when most of us have so many eating options that we can choose and be picky, choosing nutritionally-rich food is all the more important. Progresses in modern science have allowed us to very specifically analyze the nutritional contents of foods, as well as test them for their specific phytochemical properties.
Yunnan Province in China is like heaven for people who love food. Of all the provinces in China, Yunnan has the most ethnic minorities, and the widest variety of food, especially many wild foods. Some of these local specialties, like wild mountain fungus, require specialized experts to find and prepare, the knowledge passed down through families over the centuries. One of these specialties is Yunnan cured, aged ham.
I remember my first and last attempt at competitive eating. In Lafayette, Louisiana, there was a small, now-defunct pizza restaurant called, rather ambiguously, New York Pizza Deli. As for the food, it was really good, and as someone who has lived in New York, relatively authentic. One dish they served that is a produce of Italian-American cuisine (which is partly authentic, partly evolved), was a calzone. A calzone in the US is usually pizza dough folded over the ingredients, so that it is like a pizza turned inside out. This restaurant served enormous calzones — a whole one was two feet long. And they were absolutely stuffed beyond capacity with thick, rich sauce, and delicious meats and vegetables. They really were delicious, but four people could easily order one and be satisfied.
Chinese drinking culture seems so foreign to us Westerners. The Chinese are very moderate and modest about everything in most cases. For a man to drink one beer, or one glass of rice wine, per night, is seen as quite enough. Yet at formal business dinners and at nightclubs — two situations where a single host is trying to outdo his friends in generosity and face — the Chinese can out-drink the best of us any day. But to the Chinese, the Western habit of going to a bar alone and drinking all night, is equally odd.