FrancesRenHuang

Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

A Genius Creation

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on December 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Grilled Cheese

This is by far the most impressive cultural dish in Buenos Aires- Grilled Cheese, also called Provoleta Cheese. As an appetizer, it is baked plain or dressed with different herby variations. This dish is customarily eaten before a barbeque.

Easy to prepare and dangerously easier to stuff the whole thing into one’s mouth; these glorious cylinder shaped, semi-hard cheeses are around 2 cm, and comes in packets of two-all ranging from 20~30 pesos ($5~8).

Stick one portion of the cheese into an oven proof pan, or a custom-made Provoleta cheese iron skillet and throw it into a heated oven. Wait with anticipation for 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted-bubbly and slightly browned. Serve warm because once it gets cold, the cheese gets harder and chewier.

*I also love to smother the melted chewy goodness onto a toasted piece of bread. 🙂


It’s Hot

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on December 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Ice with Wine

Summer has arrived, cold drinks are a must, but ice in wines? Really?

When I first saw the locals putting a cube or two in their red and white wine, my first thought was, HMM, what would the French and the wine snobs say about this? Then of course, I was curious.  So I decided to drop an ice cube in my wine, swirl it around and have a sip. Mmmm. I secretly love it. The taste was light, cool with a prolonged buzz, perfect for a hot hot weather.

Summer has Arrived

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on December 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

I love figs

My Babies

Summer has finally arrived in Buenos Aires. Ironically for me, living my whole life in the Northern hemisphere, the idea of celebrating Christmas under the blazing hot sun is a bit strange. I shouldn’t be complaining though, when right now, my friends & family on the other side are going through dropping temperatures.

Summertime, the season where nature manifests itself clearly, are seen all around us -just like my current herb garden. I’m so proud of it. 🙂  Fruits are everywhere: peaches, apricots, plums, and to my delight my favorite, figs. Figs are extremely expensive in North America, and seeing that I can get 2 for 5 pesos ($1.25), I can’t hide my greediness of wanting the whole box.

School has also ended in BA for 6 weeks; the city seems to be quieter, the pace of life drawn out longer, people traveling, resting, as everyone prepares for the upcoming long festive holidays. In these coming weeks, I as well will be disappearing for a bit, so A Lost Asian in Buenos Aires will be posting less frequently- though the contents are still awesome. Stay tuned 🙂

¡Feliz Navidad!

Gooble Gobble

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on November 27, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Beautiful Bird

The Spread

Best Desserts

Crack Truffles

As I’m devouring this last piece of leftover pumpkin pie, I am thinking, “I’m so grateful, grateful to one of the best Thanksgiving spreads ever.” I love how foodies and cooks can give such passion to a meal.

Our Meal

  • Turkey with Gravy inspired by Wolfgang Pack accompany with homemade Mango Chutney and Trader Joe’s Organic Cranberry Sauce
  • Creamy Mash Potatoes
  • Green Beans with Bacon
  • Southern Style Corn Bread with Cinnamon & Honey Butter
  • Caramelized Butternut with Sage Hazelnut Pesto inspired by Food52
  • Butter Carrots with Bacon and Pecans inspired by Cooks Illustrated
  • Chocolate To-Die-For Cheesecake
  • The Best Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie Truffles inspired from New York Times
  • Skillet Apple Crisp

The Result? Too painfully full as I’m reaching for my third helping.

Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

Argentina’s Ex

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on October 28, 2010 at 11:24 am

Yesterday was a National Censos holiday, and during then it was announced the passing away of the country’s ex-president, Nestor Kirchner. Some people celebrated at this news, as he was known to be a harsh authoritarian, known for his policies against foreign investors. That is why everything except for wine and beef are expensive! There are many criticisms on the ‘Kirchner’ rule: nationalizing, corruption, galloping inflation, high taxation. Though in my opinion, no matter how much backtalk there are; it was him that managed to push this country forward after the 2001 economy crisis; it was him that stimulated the economy to favor welfare, increasing job opportunities and  encouraging public projects. I am hoping our National Censos Holiday will extend for another three days. Look at Brazil and Venezuela, they declared a three-day mourning. The least this country can do is to announce more holidays..in memory of her husband. 🙂

*http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/k/nestor_kirchner/index.html

*http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Argentine_former_president_Nestor_Kirchner_dies.html?cid=28647536

*http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20101027-723066.html

Spending the Sundays

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on October 6, 2010 at 9:53 am

 

starting the party up

 

 

I loved this salad: Mixed Greens with Avocado and Peaches served with Plum Dressing

 

 

Alcohol + Food

 

 

Why not fight for this box of Ice Cream?

 

Sunday asado is the culture of Buenos Aires, friends and families gathering together in the beautiful afternoon eating and having a good time. An asado, is an event that is over-flooded with delicious grilled meat in someone’s backyard that lasts throughout the whole lazy afternoon. Obviously, these asados aren’t vegan-friendly, though the varieties of snacks and salads are more than enough to fill the non-meat eaters.  We are fortunate to know this great couple who has a beautiful backyard, right near our house-hence the asado on our beautiful Sunday. Lucky us; there shall be more asados, especially with the beautiful weather coming around. 🙂

Prepare a hungry stomach for an asado; the meal begins with some cheeses and nibbles, transitioning into some chorizos sausages, some salads, meat…and more meat, more meat, more side dishes and then finishing with dessert. Yeup, and flowing alcohol in between.

Street Art

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on September 29, 2010 at 9:57 am

Street Arte BA

Creativity at it's best

Our favorite

Growing up in the bay area, graffiti art decorates the walls of our city; some are surprisingly artistic while others are just for laughs and to make fun of. Being in Buenos Aires, I’ve seen groups of kids saving walls for their creative pleasure, though I have not seen anything impressive until now. Not surprising, it is created by a group called Street Arte BA. Pretty cool. (http://streetarteba.com/) (http://www.elfeder.com.ar/streetarteba.htm)

Puerto Madero (Near Dique 2, at the corner of Hotel Madero)

Happy Moon Festival

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on September 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Mooncake: the mooncakes in Buenos Aires are sad in comparison to the ones back home. Not that good, though still happy. It is better than nothing.

Yesterday, the 22nd was the Moon Festival Holiday. The tragic story behind this Chinese holiday, involves a beautiful woman somehow stuck in the moon with a bunny, waiting helplessly for her love one to visit from earth; he is only allowed to visit once a year, during the fullest moon in September. In memory of this, our Chinese ancestors made cakes with different kind of fillings, in the shape of a full moon, which we call Mooncakes (月饼).

Missing home, I was set out to celebrate this holiday in my house inviting a couple over for a home-cooked dinner with mooncakes. It was the first time inviting anyone over-we were stoked; which means trekking to Chinatown in Belgrano; going around Arribenos, gathering all the ingredients from different stores. I enjoyed spending time there, seeing all the little asians buying mooncakes and shopping for dinner. It was heart-warming.

'The Chinatown'

This was the following menu I came up with:

  • Starter: Fried Wonton & Springrolls with Home-made Sweet and Sour Dip
  • Salads: Cucumber Salad 拍黄瓜 & Bean Sprout Salad 凉拌豆芽
  • Mains: Ma Pou Tofu, Gong Bao Chicken & Stir-Fry Beef with Hoisin Sauce
  • Dessert: Mooncakes from Belgrano (7 pesos each)

Salads were superb!

Everything was perfectly executed, though I wish the texture of the tofu would be a little bit firmer.


The Mate Experience

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on September 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm

mmMm I can't wait

Interesting...

A week ago, my tutor introduced to me the ‘real mate experience’. She shaked her head when I proudly exclaimed that I drank mate! .. Well, I drank yerba tea bags, not ‘the mate’. So, I was very excited the morning she came with all her mate preparations.

Mate Critic: It is definitely 10 times stronger than my normal yerba tea bag experience; it might even surpass the caffeine level of my daily coffee- hence my heart rate racing after 5 minutes of drinking it. The taste is similar to rich dark musky green tea in the northwest of China. I will definitely try it again, especially when it has great health benefits. Though I am not a fan of sharing straws, as well as the inability to scrub the inside of the bombilla.

Equipment

  • traditional mate commonly made from squash, which also includes a bombilla (metal straw)
  • yerba tea
  • hot water, but not boiling
  • sugar (optional)

Prepartion

  1. Fill the mate with yerba tea; pour the hot water until it just covers the tea.
  2. Gently refill, by pouring onto the bombilla, to contain taste. Refill until taste is completely gone, about 5 refills.

Mas despacio, por favor

In Culture, I'm a Newbie on August 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Since a few days ago, I’ve started my 90 minute spanish class with a tutor everyday. The first day, as we opened the first unit, the lessons start pouring out, “me llamo ……., cuantos anos tenes, donde vivis, que haces”, soon the high school memories came flowing right back. I hated this back then, how will it be different now? Omg- Ayudame por favor! How am I ever going to be fluent?

After a few days of persistence and determination, the horrific memories has eased up. Being in Buenos Aires is a big plus and the luxury of private tutoring isn’t too bad. All this may just be the solution to overcome my Asian genes-fear of failure. I have now immersed myself into the language, making up situations to talk more, and asking questions that pertains to my everyday needs- words I can use at the local butcher, cheese shops, restaurants and markets. I’m starting to see the possibility of liking this language.

Words that are helpful this week:

  • ya voy: I’m coming
  • buen fin de la semana: have a good weekend
  • desmasiado: too much
  • misma: same
  • un poquiti menos o mas: a little bit less or more
  • jugoso-a punto- bien cocido: rare-medium rare- cooked well
  • El precio incluge viaje?: does the price include transportation?
  • nos vemos: we’ll see each other
  • ahi-aca-aqui: there-here-here
  • casada: married
  • Mas despacio, por favor: much slower, please
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