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  1. No they are flat bottom - though they do have some round bottom with the 1 piece steel handles similar to the one hzrt8w didn't choose at the Wok Shop. BTW - those $50 induction cook tops must have been Tatung (based in Long Beach). They have the 1300w versions at New Egg for $62. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16896130004 I looked for them again but they must have sold out, don't like mentioning stuff like that without a source.
  2. No, I believe that might be a little much, but I'd like to get there one day - not just for the cheese. I didn't get to see Northern Japan and I'd definitely like to see it, go to Sapporo, visit Akita. Thank you for the translation.
  3. Unfortunately no response - but then, I didn't really expect one. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to visit Hokkaido some time. I think I should be able to find the leaves here Hiroyuki and thanks JasonTrue - all very good suggestions - I can think of all kinds of cheese and variations on using the leaves that might turn out to be delicious. I'll see what I can do if I can find the leaves - or maybe I'll just "harvest" them from some Sakura wrapped mochi. While this will will help - it won't satisfy my curiosity as to what a cheese such as this actually produced in Japan might be like - especially since it apparently beat out so many places known to produce fantastic cheese. As always, when I see something like this - I wonder if it lives up to it's reputation. Which I understand is highly subjective - but you never really know until you try for yourself.
  4. There is a Bourbon from my hometown I don't see mentioned anywhere so I'll throw it out here, it's called Kentucky Tavern. It was once the official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, before Woodford. It was once called "The Aristocrat of Bourbons" and was even bottled in Bond during the war. You can still find antique items selling on Ebay: http://search.ebay.com/Kentucky-Tavern_W0Q...rdsreturnedZ300 And the old magazine ads are really interesting: http://images.google.com/images?q=Kentucky...m=1&sa=N&tab=wi Anyway, Glenmore Distilleries was bought by Barton Brands and they more or less relegated it to bottom shelf, only the liters are sold in glass anymore. http://www.bartonbrands.com/kenttavern/largektprodshot.jpg It holds a special place in my heart because it was my grandfather's drink (we called him Pop, his name was Charlie) - though he just called it KT. He was a steel mill worker and would always say, "KT and coke won't hurt ya." It's been made for over 110 years and isn't so easy to find outside of KY anymore, but for me there is no finer "everyday" Bourbon - though my viewpoint may be a bit biased. I pick some up everytime I go home.
  5. Heh, didn't see any of those in the Chinese Medicine store - maybe there's a special room for that kind of stuff - behind the red curtain. Though next time I'm in Chinatown in NYC I'll make sure the English translation on the menu is accurate, maybe that "Beef Shank in XO Sauce" isn't quite what I thought it was.
  6. Oh of course I'm not sure exactly what it's for - I was commenting on the Wikipedia article. It seems that some of the Chinese medicine treatments translate literally to an illness, like the Cicada plays a song so if eaten will help you with your hearing. I'm not sure if that is actually the case - it just seems so sometimes. Though I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of the 5 Elements Theory so perhaps there is some correlation to the controlling of or giving birth to some other elements. Pretty complicated - but very interesting - I'd appreciate it if anyone can comment on the addition of specific things to specific dishes for these reasons - because that is definitely something that doesn't show up in most cookbooks.
  7. So I take it double boiling is the preferred method of making tonics out of all the herbs and various dried creatures I see in the Chinese Medicine places around here, I've only had a very limited range of things in soups and hotpots - but it makes more sense now what can be done with those dried sea cucumbers and mysterious animals in those shops. I was actually just in one this weekend, they had packages of various leaves and herbs and roots that had - of all things - the molted shells of Cicada. If I ever have trouble with my hearing - I know just what kind of soup I'll be making.
  8. Thank you for trying Hiroyuki. I would say that story is absolutely food related, as your 3,483 posts from that house in Shiozawa demonstrate, as well as the numerous ones containing your own cooking from that house. It seems as though you made the right decision - you might even consider writing a book. I sent my own inquiry this morning so we will see if I get the same, which I can only imagine I will. Though I read that the people in Hokkaido descend from bear hunters and trappers and like other places in Japan- farmers. So I tried to appeal to the bartering nature that must exist somewhere in their blood. Perhaps I can trade something from Amish country in KY for some cheese from Japan - so much more interesting than just paying cash.
  9. Leviathan... or anybody that lives in SoCal. I just stopped by 99 Ranch Market this morning on Valley. They have carbon steel woks stamped with "Taiwan 2006" - basically the same ones mentioned above for $5.98.
  10. Hiroyuki as always you prove yourself kind and generous. I would appreciate that very much and if I can get it then I will report on it here when it arrives. I have to say the depth of this board is amazing, there are undoubtedly thousands of things I am ignorant of but almost every time I look for something here it has been covered somewhere - no matter how obscure. Only recently did I start looking at Hokkaido and never knew of Ainu cuisine, but inevitably a search here reveals discussions about just about anything. So far Sakura Cheese and Kompeito are the only things I've run into with no mention. (Edit: and I just found Kompeito.) Unpredictable? Hmm. Yes, perhaps. Though that can be a good thing and a bad thing. On the one hand being able to adapt is beneficial, on the other hand not being able to be settled can be problematic. Like a cup of water. The water needs the cup because without it - it is shapeless and will dissipate and evaporate into nothing. Yet without it's fluid nature the water would not be able to adapt so easily to so many situations. Rigidity and flexibility each have their own benefits and drawbacks. I'm doing my best to find the balance. I hope life is treating you well as you are deserving of such, and I hope their answer is yes - because I am very curious.
  11. Thanks to both of you!!. I've had Sakura Mochi and Sakura Ice Cream, the salty nature of the cherry blossom leaves actually seems as though it would go perfect with cheese - though I never would have thought about it. There is a mochi place here where I can get the salted leaves so maybe I'll go grab some and try them with a few cheeses. Hiroyuki my friend - it's good to hear from you!! What am I up to? After 7 years in Chicago it was time to go, my girlfriend got a job in Southern California so I moved out here. Checking everything out I can, the Asian population is enormous as well as there is an incredible diversity of cultures blended out here - Armenian, Peruvian, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, French, Mediterranean, Japanese - you name it it's here. Not to mention the Midwest and Southern influences. So many things I never knew existed here and so many myths and stereotypes dispelled. My girlfriend grew up in Beijing and routinely makes statements that a great deal of the food here is identical to back home. There are places in Little Tokyo in LA and out in the Valley that I think would surprise you, if you ever come this way please let me know! Anyway, still cooking, studying Chinese and Italian mostly at the moment and going back over things I've covered looking for things I've never heard of - hence Sakura Cheese. Hopefully another photo entry coming around soon - have a good start but I am always hesitant to think that the world will actually allow me to finish, I have been very lucky so far and am very grateful.
  12. Sorry to bring back such painful memories . Thank you.
  13. Anyone ever had this? Know where I can order some online? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakura_cheese http://cheeserland.com/2004/11/cheese-news/
  14. I recently had Steam Pot Chicken at a Yunnan style place in Monterey Park, CA which is the first time I'd ever seen a Yunnan steam pot actually used and I've seen those and that method of cooking discussed around here. But can anyone elaborate on the technique of "Double Steaming"? Where a vessel of food is filled with water and then lidded and the vessel itself steamed. Does anyone here use this method for any dish in particular ? I can understand the benefits of cooking with wet heat over dry heat especially for long/slow cooking or for making certain types of sauces (in the west we call it using a double boiler) - and they've even started to make steam ovens. But does anyone do this at home and if so - for what? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_steaming
  15. The more I study Chinese cuisine the more I find deep rooted influences not only on Western cuisine, but on many. Particularly interesting to me lately is the influence of Confucianism and Taoism on Chinese cuisine from before 500 B.C. that seem to then translate and relate to philosophies of food adopted by other cultures - and I even find particular relevance in the philosophies of Western chefs and cooks – even in some of the “newest trends." Particularly I find it interesting that Confucius loved cooking: “Confucius dreamed about and fussed about food. He emphasized the art of cooking and enjoyment of life. He showed people how they could cultivate their palate and delight their senses. The art of cooking encompassed more than food. Culinary etiquette, social sharing of food, presentation and combining of tastes and textures was important in this school.” “Confucius taught that while maintaining the integrity of the individual food it is important to blend taste and textures and the use of condiments to give the palette the whole experience. He also stressed the use of color and aroma in the presentation of the dish.” As well, within Taoism: “Taoism shaped Chinese cuisine by emphasizing the need to study the life giving properties of food. Taoism studied the effects (both physical and psychological) of foods and prepared dishes. It concerned itself with the nourishment of the body, prevention of disease and the search for longevity.” “Over the centuries the Chinese have studied plants, roots, herbs, fungus and seeds to find their healthful properties. They discovered their medicinal value and how not to destroy this value during cooking. They explored seasonal cooking and understood the elements found in each ingredient.” “Their contributions have resulted in Chinese cuisine embracing lots of vegetables, grains, herbs and cooking with little fat. Traditional Chinese cuisine is low-calorie and low-fat. Food is cooked using poly-unsaturated oils, and milk, cream, butter and cheese are avoided. Meats are used as flavorings and condiments and seasonings are used to satisfy the taste buds.” --------------------------------------------------------------------- Within researching these things you find “Cooking as Art”, the importance of presentation, combining varieties of textures and garnishes to “give the palette a whole experience” while maintaining the integrity of ingredients, focusing on color, texture and aroma, the importance of "all the senses" in cooking and eating, the importance of seasonality, the medicinal affect of foods and avoidance of milk and dairy, the importance of seasoning and on and on – long before the Western world even existed. Look even further and you find things like the interspersing of sweet and savory dishes in a progression of small presentations in Dim Sum all the way to the fact that any “liquid filled ravioli” is pretty much just a modern version of Xiaolongbao. Though some of these things no doubt also evolved in isolation in other societies, it wouldn't be hard to argue that the Chinese were “first” in many – if not all these categories.
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