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May 2014 China Trip


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#31 basquecook

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 10:58 PM

worked through lunch

 

basically, these are peking duck pancakes (pinyin ?) filled with various things. from chinese sausage, to chicken, to duck.

 

14103384127_e5a066c1c5_z.jpg

 

I had a sausage and a like a bean curd string one.  

 

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Hot tofu.

 

a little cilantro makes it pop

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Sweet bean.. Not a fan of this stuff. it's not bad but, it's not good either.  not good for me, that is

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Edited by basquecook, 28 May 2014 - 11:01 PM.

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#32 Smithy

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:01 PM

I don't understand:  does a peking duck pancake have peking duck included with the other things, i.e. peking duck, sausage and bean curd string?


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#33 basquecook

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:03 PM

no, they are essentially, like wraps..  I was saying, the wraps are similar to what you would find served with Beijing or Peking Duck. each wrap contained vegetables and sauce.. The only variant was whether it had, duck, sausage, chicken, or bean curd strings.   It was from like a fast food healthy place supposedly.. last day at this one factory.. we gotta get things done. tons of tea, a few beers.  


Edited by basquecook, 28 May 2014 - 11:08 PM.

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#34 Smithy

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:35 PM

Got it. 

 

I have to love a factory where a few beers are acceptable at lunch or after.  I remember those days here, before zero-tolerance kicked in. 


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#35 basquecook

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:36 AM

Yeh, I pretty much drink beers, eat pistachio nuts and Sichuan Peanuts while having a glass of tea every 20 minutes though out the day.. We get here around 730 am leave close to 730 at night.  lunch is at like 11:30..  I try to rattle them and tell them I am not hungry. they hold out as long as they can.  But, like 12:30 lunch for them is bordering on obscene.  I like to start negotiating around lunch time.  They will often just fold in order to get to lunch.  

 

I do this for however many days I spent at each place and then go to the next factory and it starts over.  


Edited by basquecook, 29 May 2014 - 12:40 AM.

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#36 basquecook

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:57 AM

another lunch.   It's kind of cool, kind of disconcerting to my Western sensibilities.. It's kind of like tapas except, entire bowls of food that then make up smaller dishes are sitting out in 90 degree weather with the local insects buzzing about.... Have I mentioned yet, it's hot as hell here yet?

 

No, that's not Matzah Ball Soup.. More lion head meatball soup..   

 

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fried vegetable fritters.. there was onion, lotus root, carrots, a few other things..  my Americaness reaches for salt, there is none. but, it was really tasty.. 

 

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Fried tofu in hot chicken broth with some scallions

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pieces of pork rib surrounded by glutenous rice.. always delicious.. my wife would swim to China for this.. 

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fish.. this was super salty.. i think they may have messed up.. but, good none the less.

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a plate of mushrooms in a hot broth and also some more water spinach was not photographed. 

 

14295832925_c10cdc90ce_z.jpg


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#37 liuzhou

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 03:02 AM

 

 these are peking duck pancakes (pinyin ?) 

 

They are most usually known as Spring Pancakes (春饼 chūn bǐng). They are not specifically 'Beijing Duck Pancakes'; that is just one use, as you have discovered. They can have all sorts of fillings.



#38 liuzhou

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:06 PM

The chaos translations are interesting.

 

I can't quite make out the Chinese in the 'Banana' example, but it certainly doesn't say 'banana'. It seems to say "炸春卷" which would make sense. It means 'fried spring rolls'. How they got from that to banana is anyone's guess. Maybe they have been smoking the banana skins.

 

It's the same with the Peach Juice. The Chinese clearly reads 'Fragrant Spicy Little Fish'. The jump to peach juice is inexplicable.

 

"Bean brain", on the other hand, is explainable. 豆脑 (dòu nǎo) does literally translate as 'bean brain'. However, the first character is an abbreviation for 豆腐 (dòu fu) or tofu. A better, though still imperfect translation, would be Tofu Brains. This is the name frequently used in northern China for what is more often known as 豆花 (dòu huā), or Tofu Flowers. It is a sweet dish made from very soft tofu (the northern variety is often served with soy sauce making it more savory.) It is usually sold by street vendors as a snack food. The 'tofu brain' variation comes from the dish's supposed resemblance to a dish of pig's brains. 

 

doufuhua.jpg

My local 'bean brain' vendor (although we use the 'tofu flower' name instead)

 

I can't make out the Chinese in the "Stir-fried Broccoli" example, other than the two characters, 玉米 (yù mǐ) which mean 'corn'. I'm guessing the Chinese is correct and they've been on the banana spliffs again.

 

and, finally the "Chaos". Actually, for once, they have got the translation absolutely perfect. 混沌 (hùn dùn) does indeed mean 'chaos'. What they have got wrong isn't the translation; it's the Chinese. What they meant was the superficially similar characters 馄饨 (hún tún), meaning 'wontons', as pictured. I'm so glad the Chinese language confuses the locals, too.


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#39 basquecook

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:13 PM

Thanks for added information Liuzhou.   That is really interesting..

 

 

So last night in Zhangjiagang.. leaving for Yangzhou shortly, then off to Chengdu

 

 

The lawyer guy owns a piece of this Hunan Restaurant so we went there last night.. I stayed away from Rice Wine,, it was a lot more tame, to say the least..

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We worked late and shut the restaurant down.. 

 

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We drank wine from various fruits.. it was a low alcohol percent.   You can see that large bone display.. That is half a steer head, to display that we were eating a large plate of cow head.. 

 

My two favorite dishes were the fish head with spicy green peppers and spicy pork kidney.. Apparently, it is vary good for men's virility.  

 

Spicy bamboo

 

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This had a fried egg on the bottom of the pan and then bean noodles, various peppers and red onion.

 

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This was the pork kidney

 

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you can see to the right of the peanuts another interesting dish.. Stinky, stanky tofu. It was pretty extreme for me.  It was covered with ginger and garlic which helped mellow the taste.. I enjoyed it a lot like that.. I tried another piece on it's own and it was a lot more strong... When i thought of it as it was a blue cheese, it helped me enjoy it like that as well..  

 

I would not seek it out but, i don't mind it either.. 

 

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There was an author dining with us and he bagged up the leftovers.. that made me feel good

 

 

8 more days!  off to yangzhou


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#40 liuzhou

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 11:14 PM

When I got back from the book store today at noon, the 'bean brain' woman was at the end of lane where I live, so I bought a small bowl of her brains, mainly to take a picture. 1.50元 ($0.24 USD / 14 pence UK). The bowl is 4½ inches in diameter and 2 inches deep.

 

douhua.jpg


Edited by liuzhou, 29 May 2014 - 11:17 PM.

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#41 basquecook

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 08:00 AM

that looks really good.. do they ever top that with Cilantro.. Is that similar to what i was served at lunch with the wraps?  

 

 

 

So I got to roll with Robyn again tonight... How cute is this kid?  I brought him his teenage mutant ninja turtle hat this afternoon and he met me for dinner wearing it tonight

 

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He's my buddy for sure. 

 

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Went for BBQ tonight on Yummy Restaurant Street in Yangzhou

 

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Yang means lamb.. So, it's very fitting.

 

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This is serious business

 

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This was one of my favorites.. Wheat something or others..

 

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Then came lamb, fish, garlic, bread, broccoli, banana, chicken wings

 

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A whole bone in leg of lamb.

 

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All covered in cumin and pepper and a really lovely spice mixture.. 

 

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they gave us these long knives to carve the meat.. 

 

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i am so full.. geeze.. awesome though.  


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#42 Shelby

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 08:10 AM

Thanks everyone.. I appreciate you following along..   Unfortunately, i do not have access to the NY Times in China..  But, on a search, i noticed the article as well.. The last link you sent, is exactly what it was.. I did not notice the flavor as it was masked by the heavy ginger dressing.   it was more textural than anything..  I also have been fighting a cold for the last week.  

 

I vaguely remember the Chinese name being something like Bingcao, or Bingao.   I always get excited to try something new.  

 

I don't know if i mentioned this or not but, i am heading to Chengdu in the next week.. I leave on June 3rd.  I am fortunate enough to have been in touch with another egullet member, Peter Green, who put me in touch with a guide for that portion of the trip!  Really looking forward to that.  

Awwwww!  I miss seeing Peter Green post.  Tell him I said "hi" if you speak to him again, please.


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#43 liuzhou

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 08:19 AM

 

that looks really good.. do they ever top that with Cilantro.. Is that similar to what i was served at lunch with the wraps?  

 

I've never seen it with cilantro myself, but as I mentioned before, in northern China they do savory versions. It certainly looks like the stuff you posted earlier, but you mentioned that one was hot, as I recall. I've never known it hot here in the south. 

 

I'm no expert, though. I don't really like it. In fact the pot I bought and pictured was then donated to my neighbor's kid who thought his birthday came early!

 

 

Then came lamb, fish, garlic, bread, broccoli, banana, chicken wings

 

Are you sure the banana was banana?

 

P.S. The 'yang' in Yangzhou doesn't mean 'lamb'. Totally different character. The 'yang' in Yangzhou means 'scatter' or 'spread'. Crazy language! 


Edited by liuzhou, 30 May 2014 - 08:43 AM.


#44 basquecook

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:13 AM

yeh, it was banana.. it was strange, i didn't eat it as i have already had three bananas today..  But, it was peel and all on the grill.. they ordered three of them and I passed..   they peeled the banana and it had a nice caramelization.   maybe you can see on the menu sheet? you can see it in the photo above the fish skeleton on the furtherest part of the pan. i can assume it was rubbed with oil and grilled. 


Edited by basquecook, 30 May 2014 - 09:15 AM.

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#45 Kerry Beal

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 07:11 PM


 

 

It's the same with the Peach Juice. The Chinese clearly reads 'Fragrant Spicy Little Fish'. The jump to peach juice is inexplicable.

 

I Google translated a recipe for Vin de Pêche the other days - and got the following  - I suspect it's because the fruit and the fish are spelled similarly in french.  

 

"


 
 
Rating: 3/5 (132 votes) Wine Fishing add3.jpg
Ingredients for 20 people
ajouteringredient.jpg glass d ' eau-de-vie   ajouteringredient.jpg 30 pieces of sugar caddy2.gif ajouteringredient.jpg 100 sheets of cute fish  

ajouteringredient.jpg 100 cl white wine

 



#46 liuzhou

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 07:42 PM

 

 I suspect it's because the fruit and the fish are spelled similarly in french.  

 

But are nowhere near alike in Chinese.

 

peach =  桃 táo

fish  =  鱼 yú 

 

Google translate is hopeless. 



#47 basquecook

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 05:05 AM

lunch today at the hotel attached to our office.

 

 

tofu with pork bone sauce. 

 

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Spicy bamboo with hot green peppers,tiny shrimp and some mushrooms.. It's so rare to find fresh bamboo in new york.  It's awesome.. 

 

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Beef with dumplings and pickled and regular hot peppers.. 

 

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Clams with cucumbers in a broth. there were also some pickled peppers in this i believe.  

 

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they ate here two nights prior to my arrival and the waitstaff forgot to bring out this pork dish.. So, as we were eating here for lunch they brought out an extra dish.. Pork belly with bean curd..The bean curd was twisted into knots.. My first thought was they were serving tied intestines but, it was bean curd.. sweat rich sauce..  very lovely.. 

 

Rice was served at the end of lunch.. It's 8 pm, i asked to skip dinner tonight and may just grab some bbq on the street later. it also wouldn't kill me to skip a meal either.

 

there was also more greens but, no photographed. 

 

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bean curd knot. 

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Edited by basquecook, 31 May 2014 - 05:06 AM.

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#48 huiray

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 05:13 AM

Those bean curd knots are commonly available in Chinese groceries in the USA, alongside various other forms of bean curd skin that you presumably know of.


Edited by huiray, 31 May 2014 - 05:57 AM.


#49 huiray

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 05:21 AM

 

I can't quite make out the Chinese in the 'Banana' example, but it certainly doesn't say 'banana'. It seems to say "炸春卷" which would make sense. It means 'fried spring rolls'. How they got from that to banana is anyone's guess. Maybe they have been smoking the banana skins.

 

It does seem to be 炸春卷 on blowing up the pic w/ some resolution enhancement.

 

I can't make out the Chinese in the "Stir-fried Broccoli" example, other than the two characters, 玉米 (yù mǐ) which mean 'corn'. I'm guessing the Chinese is correct and they've been on the banana spliffs again.

 

Looks like 香--玉米粒 from a (still fuzzy) blow-up/res enhanced pic, with the second character still unclear...does that help?

 



#50 huiray

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 05:37 AM



I Google translated a recipe for Vin de Pêche the other days - and got the following  - I suspect it's because the fruit and the fish are spelled similarly in french.  

 

Rating: 3/5 (132 votes) Wine Fishing add3.jpg
Ingredients for 20 people
ajouteringredient.jpg glass d ' eau-de-vie   ajouteringredient.jpg 30 pieces of sugar caddy2.gif ajouteringredient.jpg 100 sheets of cute fish  

ajouteringredient.jpg 100 cl white wine

 

 

That recipe you translated (readily found from a Google search) does translate out as you show - but other recipes translate just fine, with "feuilles de pêcher" being rendered as "peach leaves" and "eau-de-vie" being rendered as "brandy" (true, somewhat generic there). 

 

Typing in "feuilles de pêcher mignon" into the dialog box in Google Translate Tools gives "peach leaves cute" (better than "cute fish", at least) with the alternatives for "mignon" being "pretty", "lovely" or "nice" from the drop-down contextual menu when one clicks on "cute".

 

trans1.jpg


Edited by huiray, 31 May 2014 - 06:10 AM.


#51 liuzhou

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 05:42 AM

 can't quite make out the Chinese in the 'Banana' example, but it certainly doesn't say 'banana'. It seems to say "炸春卷" which would make sense. It means 'fried spring rolls'. How they got from that to banana is anyone's guess. Maybe they have been smoking the banana skins.

It does seem to be 炸春卷 on blowing up the pic w/ some resolution enhancement.

I can't make out the Chinese in the "Stir-fried Broccoli" example, other than the two characters, 玉米 (yù mǐ) which mean 'corn'. I'm guessing the Chinese is correct and they've been on the banana spliffs again.

Looks like 香--玉米粒 from a (still fuzzy) blow-up/res enhanced pic, with the second character still unclear...does that help?
 

 

You seem to have missed the point. Again.

 

Thank you. I can read. It is a shit translation. It doesn't matter which characters preceded or follow 玉米. Broccoli isn't mentioned anywhere. Or bananas. 

 

Check out Dogberry.


Edited by liuzhou, 31 May 2014 - 05:45 AM.


#52 huiray

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 05:47 AM

You seem to have missed the point. Again.

 

Thank you. I can read. It is a shit translation. It doesn't matter which characters preceded or follow 玉米. Broccoli isn't mentioned anywhere. Or bananas. 

 

Check out Dogberry.

 

I didn't miss the point.  You missed the intention of my response.  You said you thought the characters for the 1st dish were 炸春卷, I merely commented that they did seem to be.  You could only make out 玉米 in the Chinese name for that "broccoli" dish and commented that you presumed the rest of it was appropriate, I offered what seemed to be the 1st and 5th characters - so that might help in your confirmation of the name in Chinese.  That was all.  Of course the English translations are wrong, I did not dispute that.  You might want to check your attitude.


Edited by huiray, 31 May 2014 - 05:51 AM.


#53 basquecook

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 12:46 AM

Lunch today..  Huge amount of food. It's Children's Day here.. A big holiday.. We are working through it, I don't think people are happy with me.. But, hey, business is business and if it makes them feel any better, i missed Memorial Day. 

 

 

cold goose.. they sell live goose directly outside of this place.. they butcher them on the spot.. there are tons of geese sitting in this box.. there feet are tied together and the are squawking all day.. 

 

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cucumber

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pork ribs-

 

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This was stupid delicious.. fried eggplant that were cut into coins.. in the coins, it was stuffed with pork.. served with a spicy garlic and ginger sauce.. So delicious.. My bride would have loved this as well.

 

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fish ball and bamboo mushroom soup.  

 


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fish head.  when asked what kind, the chinese translation was chub.  It looks fiery and while, kind of hot, it's more salty than anything.   Hot doesn't bother me.  unless it's super hot, i don't even realize it.  
 
 
 
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I think because i asked about the tofu bone sauce yesterday, they thought i liked it.. today it was not nearly as good.. the sauce more watery.. taste less rich and more like dishwater.. while yesterday, i may have guessed there was butter in it. 
 
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chicken with ginkgo nuts.. they were very bitter.. i am not sure if they were ginkgo, someone else called them cloudy beans.. 

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As if there was not enough food, they ordered noodles at the end of the meal.. very delicious.. in a garlicky brown broth. 
 
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Not many leftovers..

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so full, once again.. like after every meal, i am disappointed with myself.. i give myself a pep talk, don't over eat this time, don't over eat this time.. I thought i did well and that the meal was over.. next thing you know the fish head comes out, which is one of my favorites.. then come the noodles.. I am so ashamed.. I just can't control myself..   

Edited by basquecook, 01 June 2014 - 01:11 AM.

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#54 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:03 AM

I don't know about Chinese dining etiquette; would your hosts be offended if you ate only a small amount?

 

Do you actually gain a lot of weight on these trips? :biggrin:



#55 basquecook

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:07 AM

i usually come back a pound or two either way.. some times I have lost 5 pounds.. I broke a toe and have another injury and came over sick so, i haven't been using the gyms.. but, this is the first trip i haven't been going to the gym everyday while i was here..  the scale in my room has been broken but, i am nervous to get on the scale.. 


Edited by basquecook, 01 June 2014 - 01:19 AM.

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#56 basquecook

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:19 AM

In terms of dining etiquette, i don't think they would be offended, in terms of angry.. but, they would be concerned  that I was not happy and ultimately, keep ordering dishes until i said, wow this is really good and ate it.. Like, i have gone to dinner with people that were scared to eat the food in China or were not feeling well that night or we just not hungry.. They kept ordering dish after dish, watching to see which one these chose.   I of course was eating every dish like i was on a deserted island for the last 12 years..  

 

All of my hosts have been so warm and concerned for me.. There is such a graciousness.. Like the three of us stand like idiots in the elevator waiting for the other one to go first.. It takes us like 2 minutes to walk through a door as i want them to go first, they want me to go first.. It's just such a kindness and a consideration.. So, to answer your question, i wouldn't say offend, it would make them concerned that someone wasn't happy.  


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#57 liuzhou

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 01:42 AM

It is certainly Children's Day, but that isn't the reason for the holiday. Children's Day (June 1st) isn't a holiday in China, although parents and grandparents will spoil their brats rotten on that day - toy shops make a killing.

 

The reason for the holiday is because it is, coincidentally, also the Dragon Boat Festival (aka Duanwu Festival). This is held on the 5th day of the 5th month of the old Chinese solar/lunar calendar and Monday is a public holiday. It is one of China's most important festivals.

 

But your food. Odd meal.

 

How was the goose cooked? It looks rather gray. Maybe I'm just used to Hong Kong style roast goose which comes with golden crisp skin.

 

Does the cucumber have a dressing?

 

The stuffed eggplant 'coins' are one of my favourites. Every supermarket has them ready prepared, but I prefer to do it myself. I want to know what is in that minced pork!

 

I've never come across chub in China. I'm not even sure it is indigenous to Chinese waters. Translating fish names is one of my biggest headaches. But, I'm also a fish head fan.

 

The gingko nuts (or ginkgo nuts) certainly look the part, but I"ve never known those to be bitter. (Cloudy beans usually refers to 'kidney beans' and is actually a misconception of the Chinese. Anyway, they aren't kidney beans, I'm sure.)

 

 

I don't know about Chinese dining etiquette; would your hosts be offended if you ate only a small amount?

 

In my experience of such meals, it is unlikely anyone would notice, so long as you eat a little of each dish. If they do notice, it is perfectly acceptable to lie through you teeth and invent some malady. They will know you are lying, but it saves face all round and everyone goes home happy.


Edited by liuzhou, 01 June 2014 - 01:51 AM.


#58 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 02:20 AM

Business Meal Fatigue Syndrome. An awful affliction.


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#59 basquecook

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 02:34 AM

Ha... still working.  just starting drinking beer and more tea to soldier through.  

 

 

The goose was boiled.. As I said, the geese are literally downstairs.  I have had this simple cold dish of goose many times in China.  it wasn't grey, perhaps it looks that way on your computer.. the meat was really lovely actually.  The fish, i don't think is chub but, that's what her translator said on the phone.  They would not have brought anything in from outside of the town.. This restaurant is a little restaurant in a little shitty hotel that a small family runs.   We were in a small sectioned off room while maybe 15 people were sitting in another room watching television.  

 

The husband is a chef who bought the restaurant and it happened to have a hotel attached.. The food ranges from average to excellent.. Being a saturday, being children's day, I don't think he brought his A game.. But, the eggplant was pretty fantastic.. 

 

edit to add.. whoops, today is Sunday.. 


Edited by basquecook, 01 June 2014 - 02:43 AM.

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK


#60 basquecook

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 02:40 AM

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK