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    Greenwich Village, NYC
  1. Hong Kong is mostly comprised of Cantonese-speaking people, so I suppose the people living on the boats might do that, but there's a huge number of Cantonese in mainland China as well. I think for most Cantonese, salted and dried foods are made for about the same reason anybody else would have them made. ← If you take a close look at the coastline of the Canton region, you'll see that it's filled with miles and miles of irregular coastline that goes inland and then out to the sea again, inland and out to the sea. It ain't smooth is what I mean to say. This allows for ten fold the number of families which at first glance would fit there. Millions live on boats and historically have had no way to preserve food other than salting, drying or drying to remove water. Even today refrigeration on Cantonese boats is rare. On my early visits to Chinatown here in Manhattan the shops were filled with cellophane packages of dried everything including shrimps, fish, mushrooms, chestnuts, noodles, and a few unmentionables. I learned a lot by picking up some strange looking thingy and asking someone what it was, and how to prepare it. It took a while until I could convince anyone I was serious, and longer to find anyone who spoke English. I had the feeling people felt I was either well meaning but stupid, or that I'd never understand their cuisine. But this was years ago. Wonderful times, a wonderful people, fantastic cuisine.
  2. Matthew, thanks. That sandwich sounded so good I tried it. Of course never being able to leave well enough alone, I turned it into a panini. That little crunch on the bread made the sandwich less easy to stuff into my mouth, enabling me to savor it longer. Also, thanks for the old jokes, the very, very old jokes. Cheers,
  3. For me, as a voracious Chinese-food eating jew, I personally really like the fact I can get brisket at chinese places. Beef noodle soup with brisket, beef brisket curry, brisket hotpot with turnips, etc. etc. Chinese places are pretty much the only other venues where brisket always available. ←
  4. You might try using a parchment covered tray sprayed with Pam. Or you can lay a skewer across the top of the simmering water. I found I had to vary water or flour when humidity varied with the flour and the size of the eggs.
  5. Arthur's piece explaining why Jews love Chinese food brought back to mind my teen years in the 1950's, and the ONLY Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood. My parents would take our family there on Sundays, and sit in the back so no one could see us. What then passed as Chinese food would be called 'dreck' today. Pitiful. I grew up pouring duck and hoisin sauces on everything I ate. Miraculously, my taste buds survived. Eons later I discovered Chinatown here in New York because my bicycle route to my grad school on Trinity Place took me through it. The WTC was under construction. I dallied in the shops which sold herbs, noodles, mysterious dried things in noisy cellophane bags. I was literally blown away by the colorful fish and produce stalls with the most beautifully displayed food I ever saw. I learned that the Cantonese salted and dried foods because they mostly lived on boats with no refrigeration. Gaining courage, I'd hang out in back alleys that opened into kitchen doors while cooks worked both inside and out prepping food. I was a terrible pest, asking what this or that was, and getting the same reply, "sometheen chinee". I'd good naturedly cuss at them and demand explanations, and when I was finally taken seriously, my education began. Occasionally I'd see some strange looking thing on a shop, and bring it to my adopted freinds, and they'd show me what it was and how to prepare it. They delighted in having an American college student so interested in their food. In time, my interest in getting my MBA started to diminish as my love of cooking grew. I also made a few bad choices, like the sea cucumber which left the most awful taste that lasted for hours, and the steamed turtle which my hosts insisted that I try. Don't ask. But despite those two memorables, I still taste everyting. I can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to explain why Jews love Chinese food with a passion. The real stuff is, as in most cuisines, a work of art.
  6. I saw that movie. Isn't that what attacked Captain Nemo's submarine?
  7. I laughed out loud, and am grateful for the article, but Chris, you're missing the point; it's supposed to be FUN. No one in the business would sling his tits over a hot range for a dozen hours a day if he didn't love the work. A butcher friend of mine on Fire Island makes and sells a ton of different kinds of sausages every summer. He makes the best pork with fennel, but also lamb, chicken, breakfast, and even turkey. He never frets over them, but he also takes great pride in their specialness. I've watched him at work, and like so many of my chef colleagues, his relaxed movements are those of a dancer who just lets the experience flow through his body. HE is the essential ingredient in those sausages. So my advice is to never let your sausages get tied up in a bunch. Tension drains you. and even if you turn out a rotten batch, just remember the point of the exercise was to enjoy it.
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