Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Definitely not Chinese food

Jasper and I went to the Lunar New Year Firecracker Festival in Chinatown last Thursday. Lane and I had just had one of our "what are we doing in this crazy, difficult city" conversations that morning and I got my answer: so we can see crowds of people popping confetti crackers in crowded streets while gorgeous Chinese lions do dances in front of restaurants and shops accompanied by giant drums and symbols. It was glorious. I love this second-chance February New Year's celebration.

While there we had some vegetable dumplings and some noodles with mushrooms and greens at New Wonton Gardens on Mott (my favorite Chinatown stand-by) and then went to Kam Man grocery to pick up a few things for a New Year dinner. We walked out with some mysteriously smoky black tea for Lane, a plastic Hello Kitty on a tricycle, wonton noodles, canned baby corn, and Thai hot sauce.

Then I came home and read a stern opinion piece in the Times in which an Asian cuisine expert chastizes us all for calling any old slop we make with soy sauce Chinese food. Do some research! The real recipes are out there! Etc. etc.

So... I made a pan-Asian stir fry. It had turkey (so not Chinese), oyster mushrooms, bok choy, Sechuan peppercorns, garlic, and, after I took the picture, canned baby corn.

When I cooked the wonton noodles they gave off a funky, chemical smell. Oh dear. I put on a pot of rice instead. Poor China -- after all the toy recalls and reports of food contamination and pollution all its imports are now tainted with a toxic cloud, imagined or not. Is Lane's tea loaded with pesticides? What about that baby corn? Are you plagued with these thoughts as well?

Happy New Year.


Hevansrich said...

and now Trader Joe's is dropping most things Chinese from their shelves....

Happy Year of The Rat!!

(my kids have three pet "fancy rats" - we love them. I'm sure the idea of a PET rat makes a New Yorker just about fall over...)

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Once again, I missed Chinese New Year. Although, here in D.C., it was below freezing and the wind off the river was paralyzing.

As for China, I hate to admit this, but I find myself looking at labels and if it says "Made In China", I have second thoughts. I'm not a big fan of regulation, but they definitely need an independent, third-party, non-Chinese, incorruptible regulatory commission!

Happy New Year!