Move over tacos, arepas have arrived. Arepas are a type of Colombian and Venezuelan street snack made from corn dough and stuffed with fillings. They share some characteristics with the Salvadoran pupusa and Mexican gordita, but aren’t easily confused with either.
There are probably 100 reasons to love or hate Gordon Ramsay. He’s relentless, foul-mouthed, demands perfection and is not afraid to unleash his vicious temper on anyone around him. He is also a philanthropist, an incredible businessman, a huge proponent of responsible farming and animal husbandry (if you’ve never watched his documentary “Shark Bait”, you should). Most notably, he’s a seven-starred Michelin chef.
Fundamental to Western philosophy is the dinner party. The ancient Athenian supper that Plato describes in his Symposium has all the familiar tracings of our modern gatherings: food, drinks, and friends – not to mention attempts at moderation and long, heated discussions on love. While our parties might not be exactly as Plato described (e.g. wives are now allowed to attend), the framework was there. In the end, a dinner party is a simple and enduring combination of ingredients made unique by hosts and guests alike.
Whenever someone mentions teppanyaki, I immediately think of four things: precision cut meat and seafood, flying prawns landing on my plate, a stack of onions arranged like a fire-shooting volcano and Steve Aoki.
Who invented pasta? As a kid, you learned it was the Italians. As a slightly older kid, you found out that it only became an “Italian thing” when Marco Polo returned from the Far East with these unusual things called “noodles”, so it was probably the Chinese that invented pasta. Maybe it was the Arab invaders who brought a pasta predecessor to The Boot during the 8th century, or the Greeks who settled in Naples before Polo was even alive. Whether Italians invented pasta or not isn’t really my point. The point is, once the nonnas got their hands on pasta, it was game over.
You know in cartoons, when the character has a somewhat important moral decision to make and the angel and devil appear on their shoulders? That’s how I feel when someone asks me if I want a cooler to drink. The devil on one shoulder is saying: “Do it! Think about how refreshing it will be. You know you want it.” The angel is shaking her little finger saying: “But Chrissy, think about the hangover. Do we really want to drink our calories?” Neither is wrong, and if I’m being honest, the whole situation makes me anxious.
In the dumpling game, xiao long bao (aka soup dumplings or Shanghai-style dumplings) are the high rollers table. My brother and boyfriend equate the experience to biting into a pizza pop right when you pull it out of the microwave, and they aren’t far off. Get it right and you are rewarded with a mouth full of delicious dumpling heaven but fumble with your chopsticks and you’ll be left with a scalded mouth, wet chin and a ruined dumpling. But, don’t let the fear of (potential) physical and emotional pain scare you, like I said- no risk, no reward.
There is something magical about getting up on a Saturday morning and going to the farmers market. Let me explain- Edmontonians endure rough winters, so there’s nothing like a table covered with sun-ripened tomatoes to buoy our spirits until the next frost.
The word dumpling makes me happy. Honestly, it really does. Can you think of a time that you heard the word dumpling and it ended in something bad? I’ll bet you can’t, and neither can I. Whether it is used as a term of endearment (“hello, my dumpling”) or is referring to those individual, little morsels of goodness that never fail to please your palate, the word dumpling makes me happy.