Donate, Win, Eat, Travel: Passports with a Purpose

I'm back from Mexico with fresh cooking tips from an Abuela (grandma), a passion for pambazos (think tortas, but soaked in chile, then fried) and a few imbibe-able souvenirs. Before I start in on my posts about those, I wanted to give you the opportunity to win a little travel adventure of your own. As self-indulgent as this lovely blog is, I couldn't help but jump at the opportunity to help out by participating in Passports with a Purpose, to help raise money to build libraries in Zambia. "Zambia? Books? That doesn't sound like food?" You might be saying. And you'd be right, but only … [Read more...]

Beijing Part 5: Regional Chinese Food

As I finish my summary of eating in Beijing, China for eleven days last fall, I contemplate the irony of the fact that an 11 day trip took me 11 months to finish writing up. Yet, the impact that the food of Beijing made on me is fully worth the patience of my readers and time I've spent thinking about what was so amazing about it. While I've already written about the foods from two regions, Sichuan and Xinjiang, as well as Beijing's Street Food and own cuisine, the thing that truly floored me, amazed me and made me feel as though I knew just so little about the cuisine of such a vast … [Read more...]

China Part 4: Beijing Foods, Hot Pot and Miscellany

Oh, what? I went to China? Oh, yeah, last December! And I’m still within the one year limit of when I returned from the trip to get all the posts up. After this there is just one more! So without further ado: Beijing-style food and other delicious miscellany. Peking duck is pretty much the most symbolic dish of Beijing, being as it shares the name with the city. Whole meals of a single roasted protein aren’t normally my thing, but I couldn’t leave without trying it and my wonderful friends directed me towards a new-ish place not far from where we were staying that would do a great job while … [Read more...]

Beijing Part 2: Holes in the wall and Xinjiang restaurants

In which I describe the delights you can find only by adventurously ducking into the whatever steamed in window you see in a Beijing back alley (aka hutong) as well as delve into the first of the many regional Chinese cuisines we tried while there. At first glance this might seem like an odd combination, but really there was a lot of overlap. A feature of Xinjiang food is grilled things on sticks and flat, pizza-like flavored breads, both of which you may know, make excellent drinking foods, thus many double as great places to consume large amounts of weak Chinese beer or strong Chinese rice … [Read more...]

Beijing part 1: Street Food Favorites

The people of Beijing are hardy stock--everyone perfectly dressed and coifed despite the frigid temperatures, a street life, food vendors included, that is not hampered by the dry cold that froze me immediately. Needless to say, one of the best cures for a half-frostbitten fingers is to hold something warm, something comforting, something delicious, between my hands. To heat my belly with the fire of spicy, delicious food fresh from the nearest bundled up cook on the sidewalk. The man above is making the snack on the left, a thin, crispy egg wrapper filled with two kinds of sauce, one of … [Read more...]