Monday, September 13, 2010

The English Patient, Chinese Food, and German Wine

Loved this article in the NYT today. I sat down with some wine reps a few months ago to have some Austrian wine and it paired really well with our food at XY. And like this article talks about, Riesling works too. Especially with spicy foods and things like the General Tso's Head on Shrimp. I think white wines like pinot grigio work well with Chinese Seafood and chicken dishes as well.

I'm not a big wine drinker. You know the kid stays pounding four loko and hennessy, but when building our wine list, I definitely liked Austrian wine the best cause of the sugar content. We don't have it at the restaurant right now because we're working on terms with the distributor, but if you are eating Chinese at home, get a bottle. It's cheap. I like this one:

Hofer Zweigelt, Austria, 2008
Grape: Zweigelt (indigenous Austrian grape)
Body: Light-bodied
Taste: Bright, lively, red cherry, strawberry and spice- cinnamon and white pepper
Other Info: This certified organic estate is located just north of Vienna in a region called Weinviertel, which produces the top value wines in Austria

(obviously the description is from the sales rep, i would have just said it taste like grapes)

I also liked this article cause I'm interested in the localization of Chinese food. I think its cool if you tweak the food to fit local customs/preferences, while not bastardizing your cuisine. There's a fine line. People hate Chinese-American fast food and growing up, I hated it too because it displaced the more authentic Cantonese, Hunan, or Shanghainese restaurants, but if the market can support both, there's definitely a place for localized food. What this guy did pairing Chinese food with German wine culture is dope. 

But it's a very difficult thing to do. What bothers me are carpet baggers who see someone hit a cord with something like German Chinese, Cuban Chinese, or Kogi Truck (dope), and then they want to just band wagon. There are a million and one ways to localize food in an original and worthy manner. Unless its improving on the original, don't do it. Please, no asia de cuba from a giant restaurant group. I'd rather just wipe my ass with $100 and throw it in a trash can than eat that food. 

As for Thilo Sarrazin... Damn son, you a piece of work. I try not to express my opinions on immigration and integration in other countries because the rest of the world is sick of Americans telling them how to run their countries... but Sarrazin... you are wildin. If you read the English Patient, (book sucks, but worth the read for one paragraph), the main character talks about how he loves the dessert because you don't see the lines that divide us into countries. You just keep on keepin on like the Johnnie Walker logo and the dessert dissolves the lines that create countries. The lines we draw are artificial. I'm kinda on that tip. Obviously that's a pot head janis joplin with buckwheat in a headlock (yes thats a technical term for hippie) view of the world so it's kind of a worthless opinion for me to have but it is what it is.

I do understand when people in Germany want to resist attacks on the native culture. People feel like it's "their" country. I've never had that feeling as an Asian-American. I always felt like a tourist since my people stay rockin cameras and fake bags haha. I'm a citizen, but I still don't think my voice has the weight of a White American. Nobody's fault, just how I feel. I've never had a country to "claim". I rock DR hats during the world baseball games, I rep NY, I rep China, I rep Taiwan, I got love for Pittsburgh and Korea... Jet life.

But Sarrazin, stop picking on Muslims. What could possibly happen if Muslims hang onto their identities? Muslims influence German youths to go on an open toed sandal and acqua di gio binge? People start naming their kids Aasif Hasselhoff? I could understand if Muslims were opening Phantom Muchentuchems (zohan) all over and flooding the country with shwarma putting all the pork knuckle and black forest gummy bear vendors out of business but that's not the deal. I don't know the welfare situation in Germany (so i could be totally off), but the arguments Sarrazin makes sound a lot like the crazy arguments young republicans made in high school about black people. Stop playin...

On that note, we'll get back to the localization of food with a lupe quote: "did you improve on a design/did you do something new?" Lupe needs to come out soon.... Dude is top 5 talent still working