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Foie gras Je t’aime

Foie gras Je t’aime

The issue of foie gras as food is divisive. But in Montreal, foie gras is probably in their drinking water too. It is on every menu of practically every restaurant in every variation that can be conceived. Seared foie gras, foie gras pate, foie gras poutine, foie gras melted on top of waffles, foie gras [...]

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Middle America: BK

Middle America: gastronomic wasteland?

There is no diversity in Middle America.  None that the naked eye can see. It’s flat plains of corn and wheat and fields of short chunky grass mowed by cattle for miles. Then mountains for miles. But when you get up close, really close, then huge expanses of hot springs brilliantly colored by thermophytes emerge. [...]

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Contrasts

Contrasts

I just came back from the remote mountainsides, a journey sandwiched between two pearls of luxury. The progression went like this: Staying at a 5 star hotel in Yi Chang, taking bubble baths, and eating lavish buffet breakfast platters of sweet mandarins and buttery croissants, while enjoying a sweeping panoramic view of this rapidly developing [...]

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One small step into a tea farm,

One small step into a tea farm,

One giant leap into an exciting future for green teas. What I love about green tea is the vegetal flavor, the minimal to none processing,  the sparkling clearness of the liquor, the low caffeine content and the calming effect from the theanine. Now that the days are getting colder, the heat from a glass of [...]

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Nola: Flight

New Orleans, 20 pounds later.

On our trip to New Orleans in August (part 1 here), I think that I was rendered incapable of eating anything with excess sodium and fat for a long time. To this date, my diet still consists of 70% vegetables. Not including ketchup as a vegetable. Commander’s Palace Eric and I each had a “Congratulations” [...]

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Nanjing: mooncakes

Happy Autumn Moon Festival: Mooncakes and corruption

These few days in Nanjing have been sickly humid and about 30 C, as is typical of these coastal Asian cities. Today, with the luck of the Autumn Moon festival, the temperature is a brisk, cool foreshadow of colder days to come. The mooncake market is for a large part a vehicle for corruption. Under [...]

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Social Networking in China

Many of my American comrades and myself included were appalled when we found that we could not access facebook, twitter, and the likes behind the Great Firewall of China. I mean, seriously, how cruel are the censorship enforcers of this country? Why would they ever prevent the innocent social interactions of people across insurmountable distances? [...]

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Yi Chang: Private dinner, tang yuan

In the footsteps of the famous:Hubei Province

Today, I was chauffeured to Yi Chang, put up in the same hotel that Kim Jong-Il and Henry Kissinger once stayed at, and was treated to a glorious dinner personally designed by the executive chef at the hotel in a private dining room replete with an automatic Mahjong table. What did I do in my [...]

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Rui’an: Xiao Peng’s little one

Final dispatches from Rui’an

Food in Rui’an had its ups and downs. Wenzhou does not have a distinct cuisine of its own (unlike Sichuan, Canton, etc.) and all the restaurants and grub shacks (where we ate for the most part) are operated by out-of-towners, who brought with them their cuisine and old school culinary know-how. On a sadder note. [...]

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Rui’an: factory boys

The bourgeois life in China

I’m in the little industrial town of Rui’an (瑞安) off the southern coast of China. It’s so small it doesn’t have a KFC. Just a KFC knock-off with a forgettable Chinese name. (KFC acts as the marker of civilization for China, as Starbucks does for America) The knock-off’s menu features some Portuguese egg tarts too, but [...]

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