I have been baking sourdough bread for more than a year now, and it occurs to me that I’ve learned an awful lot in that time. Not only how to knead dough by hand, or how to shape a loaf using minimal counter space, or how to take care of a starter – but also [...]
Posts under ‘shops’
Like it or not, mooncake season is upon us: Wednesday, Sept. 22, is Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节), celebrating the roundest, most golden full moon of the year. Westerners may call it the harvest moon, but for China this moon is all about being together with one’s family. The word for being together, 团圆 tuanyuan, literally means [...]
It is a popularly held truth in China that Marco Polo introduced Italy to Chinese staples such as noodles, dumplings, and flatbreads (饼 bing). Only Mr. Polo didn’t get the recipes down quite right, so the dumplings became square and flat, the noodles got all out of shape, and the flatbreads acquired new and exciting fillings on the outside. Without Marco, so the story goes, Italy would be lacking of some of its most popular foods.
People are always surprised when I tell them that I bake bread in China. It shouldn’t, though, come as a shock, because flour, water and yeast are integral parts of north China cuisine. To me, there’s even more incentive to bake bread while living in China: the challenge is exciting, and the rewards – delicious bread and a new skill – are priceless.
“Hitting the sesame paste” (da majiang 打麻酱) is what we Beijingers say when we go and buy sesame paste. We also hit our soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and even sometimes the hard liquor. No, we’re not abusive toward our condiments; just resourceful and unwilling to waste a single container. The mark of an old Beijinger [...]
I had been looking for China-grown Meyer lemons everywhere, ever since I found out that they originated from China. But while I saw imported lemons (your typical pointy yellow specimens) at most larger fruit stalls and markets, the local Meyer was nowhere to be found. Then one day I found them right in my neighborhood…