I guess I should lay everything down before I get started in earnest. I’m not a jump on the latest trend “foodie” (god I hate that term…) geek that gloats over how refined my palate is. I love truffles (especially with potatoes), fleur de sel and 150 yr old balsamic. But I also ate at Waffle House the other day and damn it, I enjoyed it. I’m not going to wax poetic about a bowl of pho – no tendon for me (but I do like the chewy meatballs with peppercorns and chunks of… well, tendon). I won’t use the word terroir when writing about eating dòumiáo, just be cause someone gave me a copy of the Larousse Gastronomique and I need to put it to use – it’s stupid and it doesn’t apply. (Yes I know what “terroir” means and yes I own a copy of the Gastronomique – full disclosure). Off with the pompous highhorse’s head.
But don’t think that means there will be no opinion. There will be – mine. Along with an overabundance of punctuation, parenthetical interjections and thoroughly distracted sidebars. If I leave something on the table, feel free to call me out (or help me out with it).
Here’s where I’m going with this: I just referenced dòumiáo. (I borrowed the Pinyin spelling from Google). Most food blogs will just blast on by and leave you wondering what the hell they’re talking about. Here goes – Snow peas are good for one thing. Planting. Planting snow peas results in: snow pea vines or, in Mandarin, dòumiáo ( 豆苗). Dòumiáo are delicate, sweet and tender, even when they are a bit late in the picking. They’re also expensive if you order them in most Chinese restaturants (another rant for later). Last I remember was about $8-9 for an order. But, you can buy them in most Asian markets in Atlanta when they’re in season and cook ’em at home. The same quantity you would get in a restaurant order will cost you about $2-3. Hot wok, a little oil, garlic, saute quickly, add a tiny bit of sufu (fermented soy bean curd – funny, when you order in Chinese restaurants, you have to ask for this and they use the Japanese word – furu) and you have something sublime. Damn it. Can’t think of a better word. (Quick tip: You can get dòumiáo at a lot of places but Asian Square seems to be the best bet for me – Ming’s Barbecue or Chinese’s BBQ Corner II seem to always have it.)
Anyway, did I make my point? Who cares. I’ll write however it turns out – this isn’t a career. Maybe a hobby? No rules, no attempts at “impressing” with all the stupid knowledge I’ve learned (God, that’s an obtuse musical reference from the 80’s and a free order of cha gio at Pho Dai Loi 2 to anybody that can pull it out). BTW, I’m really not this harsh in person – until you get to know me.
So why the hell am I doing this?