I drink tea in the morning, in between classes, while in class to keep me coherent, in the evenings, while visiting friends and family, and even a cup before going to bed… I’m not gonna lie, I’m a tea person, which is why the different forms, uses and traditions affiliated with tea fascinates me.
During my travels in China last fall, the one thing I wanted to do was visit a traditional tea house – one that was not too expensive because I’m a budget traveller and poor – but after 3 days in Shanghai, I settled for just purchasing some tea at a market and gave up on looking for a “free” tea house until…
It was a rainy Tuesday and a day before flying back to Incheon, my friend and I ventured out on the subway towards the Jade Buddhist Temple only to learn it closed 20 minutes prior to our arrival. My disappointment soon turned to excitement when we came up to a little tea shop! We stopped by to have a look and the owner invited us in for some tea. Over the next fifty or so minutes he performed the tea ceremony that I was searching for and told us about his shop, Shanghai, Buddhism and the different benefits of different teas. When out visit was over, I of course, just had to take home some of his awesome merchandise and bought a box of his “family blend.”
The tea that I purchased at his tea house and the market earlier in my trip have been amazing but the experience I had with this man was much more rewarding. So if you’re a tea person, I highly recommend visiting a tea house in Asia (China, Japan, Korea) at sometime in your life, it’s well worth the trip.
It’s cheesy. It’s flowing with gravy. It’s Canadian. It’s poutine!! (pronounced “poo-teen” in English or “poo-tin” en francais)
Honestly I have never met a Canadian that has never tried and loved this famous-ish dish but I’m sure there’s plenty of them out there, I just haven’t met them. I’ve met many people from other countries and when I tell them about poutine many seem mystified and sometimes disgusted that cheese and gravy would ever be combined with fries (or “chips”) but for us, it works.
Cheese and gravy is not all we can use to make up this artery-clogging meal… when I travelled throughout Quebec (the French province of Canada) my friend took me to Chez Ashton. This is a Quebec city based fast food chain that specializes in poutine. Here I had poutine with peas (AMAZING!) and my friend had the turkey poutine – you guessed it, poutine with turkey on top. Before then, I had never dared to modify the recipe but after that experience I wondered what else I could possibly add-on… tomatoes? ground beef? shrimp? (the last two I wouldn’t eat personally but they have crossed my mind.)
So if the thought of potatoes, cheese and gravy – and if you’re daring, peas – I recommend you give it a try. I promise you will not be disappointed!
You cannot walk into a Korean-style restaurant anywhere in the world without coming into contact with this essential side dish. If you’ve never heard of it or tried it, let me give you a brief rundown as to what it is…
Kimchi is a traditional dish of the Koreas. It is made of vegetables (traditionally cabbage) and a variety of seasonings and then left to ferment to bring out the spiciness and flavor that so many people love or hate.
Many foreigners who come to Korea for the first time have never tried it and many hate it at first but with time, come to either accept it as part of their new life, or even love it.
My first experience with kimchi actually took place back in Canada before coming over here. A few weeks before my departure, a friend of mine took me to a Korean restaurant so I could try some of the food I would be living with over the next year (well it actually became longer but that’s for another time) and with my bibimbop came a little dish with a substance like I had never seen before. Luckily for me, I enjoyed it and so when I arrived, it wasn’t a shock for me. The shock was how many different variations to this dish there are. They have different kimchi based on region, vegetables, seasons, seasonings, holidays, preparation times – you name it, they’ve got a kimchi for it. My favorite goes by the name of “oi kimchi” which means cucumber kimchi. It’s much less spicier and more juicy than traditional cabbage kimchi.
If you’re interested in learning more, check this out – Kimchi on wiki . Also, check out this video on food (including kimchi) and foreigners in Korea.
If you have ever travelled to a foreign country then you know there are many differences to overcome. Of course there’s the language, the customs and traditons, and importantly – in my opinion – the food.
I have decided to set up this blog devoted to food… why? Well because I love food and want to share my experiences with the world! – and get feedback as to what else is out there to try. So… a little bit about me and this project I’m about to take on.
- I’m a 25 year old Canadian (eh!) born living in the amazing country of South Korea.
- I love food and learning about the different foods from around the world.
- I love tea.
- I have a cat that loves to eat bread.
- I’m a pseudo-vegetarian (I don’t eat red meat / seafood / pork but I will occasionally eat chicken) BUT don’t worry all you meatatarians out there, I will be talking lots about meat friendly meals 🙂
Anyways, to anyone reading this, I hope you enjoy what you see and don’t hesitate to comment on anything you might want posted. Happy reading!