Tag Archives: food

You know when it is really hot

When I was in Bangalore, my friend showed me around the town.  Now, he is visiting Vancouver, it’s my turn to show him around.  I don’t want to taking him to the typical tourist traps.  I have been to those places too many times.  There is one tourist attraction in Vancouver I won’t mind going back again and again, that is the ice-cream shop with 218 difference flavors of ice-cream.  This afternoon in the office, I asked around and see who else wants to have some ice-cream after work.  Two other friends who have heard about this place many times but having get the chance to taste it also interested to come along.  My Indian friend tried the curry and chai tea ice-cream, and complains that doesn’t taste right.  At the end he settle for a more traditional flavor, butter scotch.

After having the ice-cream, we are still hungry, so we decided to have dinner together.  I want to bring Vikram to a restaurant that he don’t have one in India.  One of my friend suggested all you can eat Chinese hot-pot, what a good idea.  So I took them to the hot-pot restaurant I usually go.  As you know, in a hot-pot place, other than ordering the soup base and dishes, you have to order your dipping sauce.  In the menu, they have the normal sauces and the house special spicy sauce.  My Indian friend instinctly want to have the spicy sauce and my two other friends, one is a white guy and the other is also Indian but grew up in Canada, follows. When we made the ordered, the waitress warned the white guy the spicy sauce is really hot.  My friend complained that the waitress discriminate against white guys because she didn’t warn my other two Indian friends.  He ignored the warning and told her to bring it on.  My Indian friends almost made fun of the stereotype that white guys can’t take spicy food.

After a while, the hotpot, the dishes and the spicy sauce came.  The white guy first tried the sauce.  The moment he put the sauce into his month, he drank the whole glass of ice water to chill the heat.  The sauce is too spicy for him.  My two Indian friends were laughing at him.  Then the Indian guy grew up in Canada try the sauce.  He got the same reaction and complains his tongue is burning.  The real Indian guy laughed at him saying that he has no taste for the spice.  Finally, it’s my Indian friend’s turn to try the spicy sauce.  Guess what, the sauce is too hot for him!  You know when it is really hot, if an Indian thinks the spice too hot.

Organic food

Organic food is getting more and more popular these days. Health conscious consumers love to buy organic products, despite its higher price. Organic food suppose not to use any chemical fertilizer or pesticide. However any farm can put the organic label on its product due to lack of organic certification. I always wonder how organic the organic food I found in the super market. One thing for sure, you cannot trust organic food that is made in China. You are lucky if the Chinese farmer use real chemical fertilizer or pesticide instead of toxic industrial chemicals.

On a second thought, the organic label is quite misleading. Strictly speaking in the language of Chemistry, all food is organic. Unless something is made of metal or rocks, by definition it is organic, even it is made of plastic. If there are organic food, then there must also be inorganic food. But that would be very odd to say some food is inorganic. Is inorganic food eatable at all?

We are what we eat

I thought vegetarians who don’t eat meat are quite out of their mind. Then I met believers of Jainism who not only don’t eat meat, but also don’t eat any animal product like milk, honey or egg. Then I met the some weirdo who don’t eat any cooked or processed food. They only eat raw vegetables, fruits or nuts without any salad dressing. They claim all food has some sort of life energy which will disappear after cooking. Obviously no one with a right mind would believe in that superstitious non-sense﹐ yet I learn this stupid diet from a colleague who seems reasonable and intelligent. Maybe we can’t judge whether a person is a faddist or not from his appearance alone. You never know what ridiculous beliefs someone may hold inside his messed up brain.

According to anthropologist, eating meat and cooking food is what make us human as human. Human evolve to the top of the food chain and set us apart from other animals all thanks to meat and cooked food. Herbivores diet cannot supply the extra calories required to develop the brain of our prehistoric ancestors. Eating meat allow human to have huge brain with small guts that jump start human intelligence. Cooking breaks down starch molecules into more digestible fragment, break down amino-acid chain in protein molecules for the digestive enzymes and physically soften the food. Eating cooked food is more calories efficient, so human can further divert more energy for brain development. If human intelligence originates from eating meat and cooked food, then not eating meat or cooked food must be the lack of intelligence. Vegetarian, Jainism and raw foodist defy our human identify and evolutionary advantage. Their beliefs is on the verge of a dangerous path that lead us devolve back to animals.

Valentine dinner

Every year on Valentine’s day, fine dinning restaurant are much more busy than usual. I suspect they are even busier than X’mas day or New Year. It seems going out to have a nice dinner with your love one is a fixed program to celebrate the Valentine’s Day. There are more dining options for other festival days. But for Valentine’s day, it gotta be a romantic candle light dinner. Due to the high demand and limited supply of dining space, restaurants know how to rip off their customers on this special day. They will schedule the seating into as many slots as possible. Limit the menu to a few fix dishes to streamline the cooking process. They will also mark up the price in menu to squeeze extra money from the poor guys who have to pay for the meal. That’s why this year I have the Valentine dinner with Pat the day after Valentine to avoid the crowd. Just by shifting the dinner one day, I got better service and the same money can buy a greater value of food. Unfortunately, this tactic only works on your wife or long time girlfriend. For the new couple just started or wanting to start a relationship, delaying the Valentine’s day dinner would make you look really cheap. Or even worse, the girl may raise suspicion that she is only the backup lover, so that you can have dinner with another girl on the Valentine day.

India’s new soft drink

The Japanese had pioneer urine drinking as natural medicine, now the India push the edge eve further, marking a soft drink from cow urine. I can’t believe it is real, but here is what I read form the news, see it yourself at this link. We all know the Hindus think cows are holy. On top of it, according to the news, they think drinking “cow water” can purify your soul. Cow urine and dung are actually consumed by some Hindus in religious rituals. Although the new soft drink is made of cow urine, it is filtered clean and added herbs medicines. Apparently, the company claims it tastes good and very healthy. For those who will travel to India, I dare you to try a bottle of this new soft drink. Next time when I travel to India, I will definitely bring back a few bottle back home. What a perfect gift!

Fruit manual

Pomegranate

Nowadays, even fruit come with a user manual. I went to grocery shopping at Superstores and come across a weird looking fruit, Pomegranate. It is red in color, in the shape of an onion, looks like a decoration ball on a X’mas tree. I have no idea what it is, how it tastes or even how to eat it. To my surprise, the fruit come with a user manual. The food producer printed a nice pamphlet answering all my questions and place them next to the fruit. From the pamphlet, I know pomegranate suppose to be very healthy, it has lots of antioxidants and Vitamin C. There are illustrations in the pamphlet show me how to eat a pomegranate step by step. You are not actually eating the fruit, you are eating the seeds inside fruit. After you cut open the pomegranate, you have to loose the arils (seeds) from the membrane attached to the skin and then pour the arils through a strainer to remove any remaining liquid. We bought one home, but I don’t know it taste yet. I am waiting for Pat to open a pomegranate. I would never buy one if there is no user manual. I feel more comfortable trying new things if I can read some related information first. Maybe all odd looking fruits in the supermarket should have a user manual too, so I know what to try.

Dinner plan

I am the unofficial Bangalore food guide.  Whenever I am in town, I will take care of dinner arrangement for everyone staying in the guest house.  It does not take much time, but the return is great.  I only have to spent 5 minutes every day to pick the restaurant, make the reservation, print direction and sent out an email invite people to join me for dinner.  People are glad that some one is take care of the dinner arrangement, they can hop into the car and guarantee a nice meal.  I always pick the expensive restaurants, so that it can never go wrong.  It’s a fun to have some colleagues to chat and chill out with a few drinks.  It is far better than the alternative.  If no one organize dinner, we may end up eating at Indian restaurants around the guest house every night.

Somehow, some colleagues choose to cook for themselves in the guest house instead of joining us.  I don’t quite understand why don’t they come with us.  Granted, the restaurants are far away, it takes time to stuck in traffic.  However, buying glocery, washing and cooking also takes time.  Having a nice dinner doesn’t take much time than cooking.  Money is not a concern, the food bill is paid by the companies anyways.  There is no reason to go cheap on food by making your own dinner.  I just can’t imagine someone can have sausage and egg every day instead of fine dinner.  One theory why they stay home for dinner is they feel guilt spending company’s money.  I tried to enlighten them with the correct value of money.  The company outsource to India to cut cost, so we are just helping the company utilize some of saving by having nice dinner in India.

Indian and beef

When I worked in India, I made friends to a few colleagues in the Bangalore office.  They shown me show me around town on weekends and we had lots of fun together.  One of them is visiting Vancouver for work, so it is my turn to be the host and show him the city.  We had a welcome lunch with other team member at Cactus Club today.  This friend of mine is a rare Indian because he eat beef.  He is the one brought me to try the illegal off-menu Indian deep fry beef in Bangalore.  We recommended him to have steak for lunch.  At first he wanted have the steak well done, luckily we stopped him or his steak would be like shoe leather.  It would taste best with medium-rare, but we afraid he may not like the blood juice, so we ordered him a medium instead.  This is his first time travel outside of India, so this is his first time to have a real steak.  He like the steak a lot and complain that he could not find  such a good steak in India.

When I was in India, I told him about my guns and I promise to bring him shooting when he come over.  So tonight we went to shooting range after work.  Due to various delay, we had dinner at McDonald to save time.  It turns out having a hamburger in McDonald is a new experience to him.  The McDonald in India don’t serve hamburger, they only have chicken, fish or veggie burger.  The funny thing is somehow he think hamburger is made of ham instead of beef.  I have to explain to him hamburger is not made of ham.  The name comes form where it is invented, which is Hamburg, Germany.  Other than serving hamburger, our McDonald is pretty much the same as the Indian McDonald.  The next food I will get him to try is sushi.  He still haven’t overcome the idea of eating raw fish.  I guess we should start with California roll then slowly work the way up to sashimi.  It is always fun introducing new cuisine to people from different culture, whether he like the food or not.