Possibly the Best Eggplant Dish? / 燉茄子

Singapore Braised Eggplant
Good with Curries and Western Meat Dishes

Cooking Asian dishes with Asian eggplants

Asian Eggplants

Eggplant has an image problem with Western cooks.  This results from the fact that they usually cook it the wrong Continue reading

Edward Schafer and Spice Route Travelers – II

The Southern Sea Routes
Before Marco Polo

Jackfruit

Jackfruit

“The Po-Lo-Mi (jackfruit) is the size of a pumpkin, its outer skin covered with nodules like the hair on a Buddha’s head.  Its color is green while growing, and turns yellow when ripe.  The pulp is of extreme sweetness.” — Zhao Rugua“Even in Dunhuang, further out on the camel road, grape wine was an expensive addition to an important celebration, like champagne for our festivals.” — Edward Schafer

 

Edward Schafer researched the movement of men, goods and ideas along the Silk Continue reading

Ovaltine

A Swiss Kids’ Drink and the Silk Road
Fusion Food in a Bento Box

Ovaltine

Ovaltine

One of the desserts at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market in Manhattan is Ovaltine Kulfi in a Bento Box.  So what does a kids’ drink have to do with Pacific Rim chefs?  Was Marco Polo peddling Ovaltine at the court of Kublai Khan?

Tell the truth, Ovaltine had not yet been invented in Marco’s day.  It came a while later. But if you were a foreign kid in Shanghai’s Foreign Settlement before the Second World War, you probably knew Ovaltine, along with Wheaties, Continue reading

Kulfi

Himalayan Ancestor of Ice Cream
Fusion Food in a Bento Box

Ovaltine

Ovaltine

According to some accounts, Kublai Khan, the Mongol emperor of China, enjoyed ice cream.  Marco Polo is said to have brought the recipe back to Italy. [1]

Others believe that frozen desserts may have their origin in the Himalayan Mountain area where ancient Indians learned how to combine the ice and snow with milk and other ingredients to make delicious frozen treats. Continue reading