Posts tagged columbus chinese food
mangoshrimp2 copy.jpg

There’s are a lot of fruit in Chinese cuisine which leads to delicious meals but did you ever wonder why? Well, Jacqueline Newman has done the research on why! Check it out below!

Chinese Food Symbolism: Fruits (Part I)

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Foods and Symbolism

Spring Volume: 1996 Issue: 3(1) page(s): 16

Fruits are temple offerings. Did you ever wonder why? What about oranges? Did you get any this past Chinese New Year holiday? Were they fresh? The Chinese love fruits, they like them big and beautiful, and they prefer fresh fruits, though sugared ones are common at this time of year. Fresh fruit at the New Year symbolizes life and a new beginning. Sugared ones are a wish for a sweet year. Traditionally, the pomelo, mandarins or what we call the tangerine or clementine, as well as limes, bananas, pineapple, and water or winter melon are seen as temple offerings. And speaking of traditions, during the harvest festival, the Lunar New Year, and other special occasions, fruits are common gifts, as well as common offerings.

The orange is a prayer or wish for good fortune. That is why it is probably the most common food offering. As a harbinger of wishes for good luck, they are often eaten on the second day of the New Year. Why not the first, because once an Emperor distributed oranges to his officials on the second day of the New Year. Thus you are also wishing for officialdom if you eat them on this day.

The mandarin and other fruits in the citrus family have other interesting roles. For instance, after her wedding, the bride is given two of these fruits by her new in-laws. She is to peel them the evening of the nuptials and share them with her husband. These two fruits are symbolizing a family wish that the bride and groom share a happy and full life together. Also, the name of the mandarin in Cantonese also means gold, clearly a dual wish here adding hopes for a life loaded with prosperity.

I was told that in the north of China two types of dried fruits are placed under the marriage bed, both wishing for many offspring. These are dried lychees and dried longans. The reason for these particular items, the words for them also mean "to have children quickly."

Melons and the pomelo are symbolic of family unity, they hold out the wish that the family will, like the moon, stay round, large, whole, and also united. Families love to share them and many other fruits. That may be why they buy large fruits and share them together.

Pomegranates have special family meaning, too. They symbolizes fertility; this fruit is full of seeds. A picture is often a wedding gift, a special picture with one of these fruits shown half-opened. The meaning is a hundred seeds, or more completely, a hundred sons. The word for seed is zi, it is also the word for sons.

The pomegranate is one fruit not used for sacrifice. The reason, it is considered to be too seductive. If you see a pomegranate on an old sash or cap of office in an ancient painting, the meaning has nothing to do with the seeds of this fruit, rather, it is saying or maybe praying to keep the title or rank from generation to generation in the same family. As in the two meanings for zi, what we call a homonym, only in this case it the word shi which also means generation.

Banana, found on some offering altars are there for other reasons. This fruit's leaves are one of the fourteen precious items to scholars. So on the offering table or altar, you are finding a wish for education, brilliance in work or school, or a related thought.

Apples have meaning, too. They symbolize peace. The word for apple in Chinese is ping, the homonym of ping is peace. Should you wonder what a homonym is, think of the word bear, the big four-legged animal and then think bear as in to bear fruit. Now the blossom of the apple is different; it stands for beauty. If you see one in a picture along with magnolias, the meaning is a hope that your house be honored and rich (with beauty).

Apricots are symbolic, too, they can stand for or mean a beautiful woman. But beauty had best not be to give your husband a red one. If you did, it would tell him that his wife is having an affair with a lover.

The loquat in Chinese is called pipa, which is the name of a Chinese musical instrument. Now this fruit ripens in early spring. So young boys out with less than honorable women were said to be running with loquat blossoms. Peaches portend longevity, and one almost always sees them in the hand of a man. That could be because the peach blossom advises of a somewhat loose lady. One rarely sees these two fruits together. though in real life less han honorable women could be out with young boys.

Pears symbolize something else. For example, lovers should never share a pear because the word for pear is identical to the word for separation. Many fruits are shared, but never is the pear divided with a husband, a lover, or a friend. And, whatever you do, don't give pears as a gift, especially on the 15th day of the 7th month; if you did, you would be wishing a separation from or to someone loved.

Symbols in fruit and other foods are fascinating. Allow me to end with a tripartite Chinese image wishing you (with a peach, a pomegranate, and a finger-lemon) a long life, many sons, and every happiness.

Recipes to Try at Home: Bali Curry
indonesian-curry-blend-roasted-210-650x650w.jpg

Bali is a province of Indonesia and the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. 

Curry paste

  • shallots 2 large (or 3 small)

  • garlic 2 cloves

  • ginger 3 cm piece, peeled

  • long red chillies 2, deseeded (or leave seeds in if you want a spicy curry)

  • roasted cashew nuts ½ cup, plus extra to garnish

  • fresh turmeric 5 cm piece, peeled (or 1 tsp ground turmeric)

  • tamarind purée 1 tablespoon (if you can’t find this, use 1 Tbsp lemon juice mixed with 1 tsp brown sugar)

  • lemongrass 1 stalk, tough outer layer removed

  • soy sauce 1 tablespoon (gluten-free if required)

  • coconut sugar 1 tablespoon (or brown sugar)

Chicken curry

  • oil for frying

  • onion 1, thinly sliced

  • skinless and boneless chicken thighs 600 grams, cut into 3cm dice

  • coconut milk 400 milliliter can

  • soy sauce 1 tablespoon (gluten-free if required)

  • kaffir lime leaves 2, tough inner stalk removed, very finely sliced

  • lime 1, juice

To serve

  • red chilli 1, very finely sliced lengthwise

  • kaffir lime leaf 1, very finely sliced lengthwise

  • steamed rice

  • beansprouts 1 cup

  • cucumber 1, cut into 1cm dice

  • lime 1, cut into wedges

METHOD

  1. Place all the curry paste ingredients in a food processor and blend into a smooth paste.

  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Add ¾ cup of the curry paste (freeze the remaining paste if you like, for another curry) and fry for about 4 minutes until very fragrant, stirring continuously to prevent sticking.

  3. Add another drizzle of oil, the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until onion is very soft (about 5 minutes). Add 1 Tbsp water if mixture begins to stick to pan.

  4. Add chicken and fry for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Add coconut milk, soy sauce and kaffir lime leaves and simmer for about 8 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce has intensified in colour and thickened slightly. Season to taste with lime juice.

  5. Garnish with extra roasted cashews and thinly sliced red chilli and kaffir lime leaf. Serve with rice, with a handful of beansprouts, diced cucumber and a lime wedge on the side.

Note

  • If you’d like to make your curry hotter you can add more curry paste, but make sure you fry it off in a separate small pan for a few minutes (until fragrant). Then add a small amount at a time to the curry until you reach your desired heat level. That way you won’t get the rawness of any spices or shallots in your curry.


History of Food: Egg Drop Soup
3_egg_drop.jpg

What are some of your favorite soups at Windchimes Chinese restaurant? Did you know we have more than just Hot and Sour soup?

Egg drop soup or Danhuatang (traditional: 花湯; pinyin: dànhuātāng; literally "egg flower soup") is a Chinese soup of wispy beaten eggs in boiled chicken broth. Condiments such as black pepper or white pepper, and finely chopped scallions and tofu are optional, but commonly added to the soup. The soup is finished by adding a thin stream of beaten eggs to the boiling broth in the final moments of cooking, creating thin, silken strands or flakes of cooked egg that float in the soup. Egg drop soup using different recipes is known to be a simple-to-prepare soup in different East Asian and Western countries.

In the United States, egg drop soup is often one of the main soups offered in American Chinese cuisine, and is also called egg flower soup, a literal translation of its Chinese name, on the menus of some restaurants. Cornstarch may be used to thicken it.

Monthly Horoscope: June Metal Horse
Screen Shot 2019-06-12 at 9.42.36 AM.png

A horse month is often conducive to identifying key opportunities and tools that are essential for personal and professional growth.

Here’s more of a breakdown for all signs:

Rat Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 4/10 - Rat, you have litigation or debate that needs your attention if you do not want the situation to deteriorate to your disadvantage. Be vigilant and keep your valuables safe. If you are going through an episode of anxiety, get help before the situation seems out of control. Nevertheless, the Metal feeds and protects the Rat. This is good news, since it allows you to be stronger to face the annoyances of the month of the Horse. Take advantage of this time to meet friends you have not seen for a long time. Their advice can be very useful to you soon. You will be granted projection provided you do not isolate yourself.

Ox Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 4/10 - Ox, a remodeling of your emotional life can surprise you in the short term. This will be partly due to a situation you do not control. Whatever happens, do not make things harder than they are. Stay true to your principles. On the other hand, stubbornness and grudge can cause some regrettable financial losses. Preserve your serenity of mind by indulging in relaxing activities and laughing as much as possible. This is not the time to sink into depression because, as you feel deep inside, all this is fleeting.

Tiger Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 8/10 - Good luck, opportunity, action and fusional love are the ingredients of the energy mix that awaits the Tiger for this month of the Horse. This is an excellent time, during which each investment has the potential to be successful. Reunion with friends can restore strong links. Everything is fine. Be careful all the same to any possible excess of zeal. Always keep a minimum of control on your desires of the moment so as not to compromise a lunar month which is initially very beneficial to you.

Rabbit Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 7/10 -Rabbit, this is a particularly beneficial month financially and professionally. Successful business trips are possible, where interesting meetings can generate profitable future collaborations. A person or institution could finally honor or repay a debt to you. You are on a good dynamic, Continue to preserve on the projects that you lead at this moment. Beautiful prospects are waiting for you if you keep you pace. This is not the time to change your lifestyle.

Dragon Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 5/10 - Dragon, do not compromise what you have built hard because of systematic and counterproductive opposition. As a first step, prepare for a change that is difficult to accept in your social circle. Do not take out your pies right now, it may not be your turn to scroll. Assume your statements and affirmations of the past to keep a clear conscience. The balance is maintained on the financial level but freedom and comfort have their price to pay. Be reasonable.

Snake Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 5/10 - Snake, rely on your sense of strategy to get appreciated differently, because your charms do not always operate in the same way depending on the time or place. In love, secrets and enigmas are hard to bear for pretenders who want to approach you. Take time to rest when you feel that your strength is decreasing. Expand your listening skills. you may hear some very useful info for your near future.

Horse Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 7/10 - Horse, on a sentimental level it may be finally time to stop running behind people who do not give you the importance you serve. This is a good thing because you have a good chance of making the most of the time gained by new, much more interesting meetings. However, be sure of your actions, not to be forced to go back. If you do the housework, fo ti well. Otherwise, on a professional level, you can expect a much better dynamic than the previous month. Finally, your usefulness and effectiveness are recognized within the team. If you are self-emplyed, competitors may be tempted to imitate you, but fortunately without much success. You calm the jealousies for a moment. Recognition and promotion give you hope for the future.

Goat Horoscope:

Monthly ratings - 8/10 - Goat, the pace is similar to the previous month, except that solutions finally come to you. Know how to seize them. Avoid the mistake of bad organization to put the odds on your side. Family reunions and important friendships are to be expected, but remember not to express yourself more than reason. Let others assume the consequences of their remarks because on your side, you have other projects to manage. You will sooner or later end up reap the fruits of your previous meetings and your professional investment. Know how to share your leisure time and that of your work equitably. This is where your main difficulty lies in 2019. This will not happen on your own with out a sustained effort on your past. Preserve and build relentlessly, especially as you are a month the favored of this period of the Chinese calendar.

Monkey Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 7/10 - Monkey, it is a month favorable to potential financial transactions, embellished with some tripes which will have the particularly of combining work and leisure. In addition, an unexpected change in the organization of your work may finally give you the opportunity to fully express some of your qualities still unknown to your professional partners In this case you have the opportunity to express your innovative ideas to attentive minds, presupposed to collaborate with you. At home, conflicts arising from difference of opinion on domestic issues gradually fade away. It is a period of compromise, but also alliance with your relatives.

Rooster Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 5/10 - Rooster, faced with a desire for sudden more pronounced than accustomed, you should keep under control your desires to go elsewhere. This is not an ideal time to make long term decisions. The month is hectic emotionally. Give more importance to domestic events that may seem trivial. At work, the result may not be up to your expectations. It is better to capitalize on time and perseverance to achieve your goals. Know how to listen to the advice of the wiser, it might be very useful these days.

Dog Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 7/10 - Dog, do not be unduly irritated by the superficial behavior that you observe, because to alarm you at the slightest annoyance exhausts you more than anything else. It’s a good month for financial matters, but avoid making any major transactions without the supervision of a competent knowledgeable and trusted person. Force yourself to look at the events positively. The few trips made during the month are enriching on a human level. Emotional stability possible you control any jealous feeling.

Pig Horoscope:

Monthly rating - 6/10 - Pig, if you are in a period of flutter at the professional level, do not panic, with a little motivation you should have some interesting career opportunties, just as your perseverance will eventually pay off. On an emotional level, you learn how to get rid of your complexes one by one and even to transform them into strength. you are finally ready for a new beginning, on many aspects of your life. If material satisfaction is in sight, it remains best postpone major investments to a later date.

Want to know more? Check it out here!

What is Sesame?
sesame_history.jpg

Sesame is a common ingredient in Chinese food but where does it come from?

Sesame  is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum, also called benne. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods or "buns". World production in 2016 was 6.1 million tonnes, with Tanzania, Myanmar, India, and Sudan as the largest producers.

Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago. Sesamum has many other species, most being wild and native to sub-Saharan Africa. Sesamum indicum, the cultivated type, originated in India and is tolerant to drought-like conditions, growing where other crops fail.

Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed. With a rich, nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient in cuisines across the world. Like other nuts and foods, it can trigger allergic reactions in some people.

Sesame seeds are sometimes sold with the seed coat removed (decorticated); this variety is often present on top of baked goods in many countries.

Sesame seed is a common ingredient in various cuisines. It is used whole in cooking for its rich, nutty flavour. Sesame seeds are sometimes added to breads, including bagels and the tops of hamburger buns. Sesame seeds may be baked into crackers, often in the form of sticks. In Sicily and France, the seeds are eaten on bread (ficelle sésame, sesame thread). In Greece, the seeds are also used in cakes.

The Beauty of Take-Out
 
Sweet_Sour-Boxes-Large.jpg
 

Take out is one of the greatest inventions in the food industry and has brought so many fun flavors to so many people but where did it begin?

This concept of "take out" prepared meals can date back to antiquity times. It was very common in Ancient Greece and Rome for roadside stalls to sell food to passengers walking by. This can be seen in the ruins of Pompeii where archaeologists found a number of service like counters open toward the street to provide food to be taken away. They also saw that there was a lack of a kitchen like area in the homes of people who lived in Pompeii which could lead to believe that getting meals to take home was more common than not. This wasn't the only evidence. Places like Europe still to this day have several foods ranging from meat pies to tarts that can be purchased to go and enjoyed elsewhere. 

 
GT_Foot_blanket_3.jpg
 

Even with the popularity of other places and their take out/carry out foods nothing can compare to take out Chinese food.  I don't know if it's the dishes that seems so elaborate andd delicious or that it's just something that I don't regularly make but being able to purchase this food and bring it home to my house makes it not only special but also as a staple in our daily lives. It's something that has become a comfort to me. And don't get me wrong I love going out to eat as much as the next person but who doesn't love being able to bring some tasty food home and eat it on the couch while watching Netflix shows in the pjs with only their cats to judge them. 

Thank you take out gods by allowing us to enjoy a variety of foods that we couldn't even dare to dream could exist! I can't wait to order some Windchimes now and sit on my porch as I watch the sun go down. 

How do you like to enjoy your take out food? Also feel free to take pictures of where you enjoy your Windchimes meal and post them to our Facebook page! 

Fried Rice: Why It's So Good?!
 
fried_rice.jpg
 

What makes fried rice so good? I was floored the other day when I finally tried Windchimes' fried rice. It had a flavor that I had never tasted before and couldn't stop eating it. I couldn't stop thinking about it and had to go back to get it again. It was almost too good for words! Though, it got me thinking what exactly was fried rice and what is the history behind it.

The basics is fried rice is typically pre cooked rice that has been stir-fried in a wok or frying pan and is usually mixed with other ingredients such as eggs, vegetables, seafood, or meat. Most of the time it's made from left overs from other dishes and can be eaten on it's own or as a pair to another fish. 

While the exact origins of fried rice are lost to history, it’s believed that it was invented sometime during the Sui dynasty (A.D. 589–618), in the city of Yangzhou in eastern Jiangsu province. Yangchow (Yangzhou) fried rice is still the standard by which all other Chinese fried rice dishes are judged: morsels of fluffy rice tossed with roast pork, prawns, scallions, and peas. In American-Chinese restaurants, you’ll sometimes find it called "special fried rice." Today, fried rice dishes are found throughout China, particularly in the south, where rice is the staple grain.

But why is it so good? I think one factor that comes from it being so good is the nostalgic aspect of it.  For me fried rice was an easy dish I could make easily enough for myself when I first lived on my own. Something so easy as taking leftover Chinese food and throwing it into a pan and adding an egg to it (for protein!) and some veggies to make it a balanced meal. It was quick and good. I still think of those simpler times and every time I have fried rice I'm taken back to that place.

 
Cuban Fried Rice

Cuban Fried Rice

 

Fried rice has also spread to other countries putting their own spin on the popular dish. From Thailand to Cuba and Portugal to Japan. All these places have their own versions that have some basis of the original dish but making it their own and I can't wait to try them all!

Who is General Tso?
 
General_TSO_Grass.jpg
 

General Tso is one of the most popular dishes at Windchimes. This sweet yet spicy, deep-fried chicken treat brings customers in but leaves them with the popular question of "who is General Tso?"

This dish is said to be named after Zuo Zongtang, a Qing dynasty statesman and military leader. There is no real connection to him or the dish from the Hunan Province and even his descendants, when interviewed, had never heard of the dish. There is also claim that a Taiwan-based Hunan chef named Peng Chang-kuei invented the popular dish. Peng started inventing new dishes and modifying traditional ones during the early 20th century when he moved to New York to open up a restaurant. He was not the only to lay claim to the dish. Shun Lee Palaces in New York City clamed to be the first restaurant to serve General Tso's chicken and states it was invented by a Chinese immigrant chef named T.T. Wang in 1972. 

"We opened the first Hunanese restaurant in the whole country, and the four dishes we offered you will see on the menu of practically every Hunanese restaurant in America today. They all copied from us."[2]

Even though there are several claims to the General Tso's history it can be reconciled that the current General Tso's chicken recipe was introduced by Chef Wang but as "General Ching's" a name which still has trace appearances on menus on the Internet (the identity of its namesake "General Ching" is, however, unclear); whereas the name "General Tso's chicken" traces to Chef Peng, who cooked it in a different way.

Screen_Shot_2015-02-07_at_8.55.08_.2e16d0ba.fill-735x490.png

He may not be an actual person but General Tso sure does leave customers at several Chinese restaurants very, very pleased! Thank you!

 

Daily Horoscope: June 13th, 2018
 
raf,750x1000,075,t,dd2121_8219e99865.u5.jpg

 

Chinese calendar:
Day of the Fire Rat
Month of the Fire Snake
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yang
Polarity of the Month: Yin
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: North
Lucky colors: Green
 

erat48.jpg

THE FIRE RAT IS ENDOWED WITH AN AMAZINGLY PASSIONATE NATURE, WHICH HE WILLINGLY SHARES WITH THE PEOPLE HE LOVES.

Intelligent and lively, he succeeds in expressing his creativity in group activities to the best of his ability: he is more willing to be a director or an actor than a painter or writer.

On a day of the Fire Rat, work meetings, so often boring and unnecessary, bear unexpected fruits. Dialogue and interaction between usually lonely personalities make it possible to clear unexplored territories for the greater benefit of the community.

Young lovers take advantage of the evening to declare their flame for the first time. If a few springs have already passed since your first kiss, offer your partner flowers and an impromptu getaway, whose simplicity and freshness will only revive the memories of your never forgotten first moments together.

Daily Energetic chart: Lack of Wood element
Birth's character and destiny (BaGua): The Inner Truth

Solar calendar: Gemini

 
Wasabi: The Spice of Life
WASABI.jpg

Ever wonder where wasabi comes from? It seems like the bright green blob squeezed out of a tube was just always like that, a course paste. But was it? And where does it actually come from?

Wasabi is a plant of the  Brassicaceae family, which also includes horseradish and mustard. This makes sense because it has that very intense, up front flavor right as it enters your mouth. The plant that is comes from looks very odd. It has leaves and a very large looking root. But that root is actually the stem to the leaves of the plant and where the wasabi comes from. Yeah, I know that it doesn’t seem like that large, coarse root could contain a bright green paste but it does you just have to know how to get it. When making wasabi you have to use a special metal grater called a oroshigane. This grinds the stem very finely creating the course, green paste that you know as wasabi.

 
WASABI_SHRIMP_NOTEXT.jpg
 

Traditionally it comes from Japan and is known for being used alongside sushi, though there are other ways to use it. At Windchimes our chief has used this spicy paste to kick up the flavors of some food such as tuna and shrimp. The Wasabi Shrimp dish starts off very flavorful and you don’t taste the wasabi right away. Then like a cat stalking a mouse it slowly creeps up on and then pounces on your taste buds. Wasabi provides a fun food experience giving your mouth a different sensation of flavors and spice. Who knew that this stem could pack such a punch and give our food a flavor we didn’t know we needed.