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I embarked on my tea journey when I studied abroad in China in 2008 and traveled around Taiwan that summer. I'm here to share my experiences and offer my own opinion, advice, and comments on tea.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Holidays...Finally

Ah yes, the holidays are here...and despite critiques about the commercialization of Christmas, and the fact that these holidays are nothing than a way for us to spend our way out of a recession. So much of our economy depends on Santa Claus that it's not even funny anymore.

But despite all this, the holidays are quite frankly my favorite time of the year. I am a 1.5 generation immigrant from Taiwan, so I spent many years absorbing all the trappings of American culture, for better or for worse. Although I can proudly say that I am Taiwanese (take that you Mainland unificationists!), I have my "white-washed" traits, which manifest themselves in the kitchen. As a teenager, I longed for the "traditional" American dinners that my friends enjoyed, at the same wondering what white people ate for dinner. For the longest time I thought a traditional American dinner consisted of pizza and ham burgers, since most of the dinners I spent at my white friend's were due to various parties or such.

So what's a guy longing for a well-done osso buco supposed to do, when your family insisted that Marco Polo stole the idea of pasta and pizza from the Chinese? I cooked it myself, naturally.

Even though I have a knack for some classical Chinese dishes, I relish the opportunity to explore cuisines I never would taste otherwise. The years went by, and my obsession with the culinary arts grew, though I'm an amateur at best.

So only on two days of the year (Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve) does my father begrudgingly forgo his daily rice in lieu of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the trappings of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, I apply my own personal interpretation on some classic dishes, including mashed potatoes with mustard greens which I boil for a while before mixing it in with the mashed potatoes, using olive oil to lubricate it all. Classic mashed potatoes, but with a little more color (and more healthy too!). I'm also serving pumpkin tortelli, with fresh hand-made pasta....

My Uncle and Aunt are coming with my young cousins (5 and 7), and since I love flattery on my cooking I've been busy these past few days thinking up recipes and drafting out a Thanksgiving meal. Thus why I haven't had any tea reviews lately...and the fact that not much has wowed me recently, except for the Yunnan Sourcing Yiwu Daqiufeng, which is surprisingly good considering its relative low price to its Yiwu siblings. A bit sour, but within acceptable limits and quite chunky and thick in the mouth feel....very delicious. May pick up a cake once I have more sessions to confirm my feelings towards this cake.


Bret said...

Ha! And here I am the cowboy boot wearing, puerh drinking Texan and what did I make for dinner tonight? Homemade pork dumplings w/ dipping sauce and a Zojirushi full of steamed rice. I had never made dumplings before but they are really quite easy. I agree the Daqiufeng was pretty tasty, really nice body and full of rich flavors. Enjoy the holiday, Best wishes to you and your family.

Maitre_Tea said...

globalization, for better or for worse, has really expanded things we wouldn't be able to experience otherwise. How else would someone like Bill from Ancient Tea Horse Road, from Minnesota, find/drink pu-erh?!

So wait, what white people eat for dinner is...Chinese food?!? My childhood image of the traditional American dinner is shattered!

Best wishes to you too in this holiday season

PS: I tried the FT #4, and it's like a better and more potent version of the Xiaguan Instant Sensation, and the sourness stays within acceptable boundaries. I'm reminded of the YS Wu Liang, and some of the leaves from FT #4 are from Wu Liang too, IIRC. Of course, maybe I'm just imagining things...

Bret said...

Yeah, I still love the #4. To me it,s very rich and sweet with a really full mouthfeel. Although this particular cake seems different than the other #4,s Ive had. The teas aroma seems to be not as assertive as the other #4,s But I still want to get a couple more of these cakes for storage. I think/hope they could age into something quite tasty.

Maitre_Tea said...

Other #4s? By different do you mean the same stuff from different vendors, or older vintages of this cake? If it's the latter, perhaps I should look into buying a cake...I find this much more to my liking than the Instant Sensation (which is almost too accessible, IMO).

Bret said...

Ive bought the #4 on three different ocassions but all from the same vendor. There is variations from one cake to the next. The one I sent you was not a good example of this tea. The aroma just isnt the same, it,s kinda, ummm missing. And also it,s not as sweet and rich as others Ive had. This cake seems "greener" than others.