Monthly Archive: November 2008
Medieval castles, imperial palaces, blocky Soviet throwbacks and new glass and steel buildings lined our paths; poppy seed strudels, potato dumplings, and goose feasts filled our stomachs; light Austrian white wines, hearty Hungarian reds and freshly pulled Czech beers served as social lubrication; and Slavic, Germanic and Finno-Ugric (Hungarian) accents provided the soundtrack.
This is the cultural goulash of Central Europe.
The impetus to change our itinerary occurred while we were in Central Asia. Several seasoned travelers and experts, having just come from China, convinced us to seize the moment and visit before the Olympics. We’re glad we did. Continue Reading »
The arc of our travel experience is shaped by the people we meet. Even the most beautiful food and landscape need a human context. With that in mind, we offer a selection of faces – each with a story – that we will recall whenever we reflect on our travels in China.
The following slideshow is our take on China’s ethnic diversity. While these images represent only a fraction of China’s 56 official ethnic groups (there are scores more unofficial ones), we hope they give you a better feel for the various people who call China their home. Continue Reading »
Article Series - Ethnic China
Where can you find pig face manicures, dog steaks, gambling novice Buddhist monks, snake oil laxatives, and locals getting their teeth replaced on the street? How about dazzling embroidered traditional clothing, mountains of fresh greens, and meat so fresh that it still moves?
Only in China and only in this video.
Hungary stands distinct in Middle Europe: it doesn’t resemble its Slavic, Germanic or Romanian neighbors in language or features. Even more rare for this region, Hungarians like heat – in their food, in their baths, and even in their relationships (Hungarians are known to take public displays of affection to a whole new level).
Although we visited Budapest, Hungary’s grand capital, several times in 2000 as we transited from Western to Eastern Europe, our visit this year proved more rewarding.
From the fresh markets to the grand open baths, here’s why. Continue Reading »
To close our Chinese food series, we share a few miscellaneous bits, bites and highlights that we just couldn’t shoehorn into the previous segments. We remember fondly the Chinese dining experience: refrigerator cases full of greens, skyscraper piles of tofu, the flash fry technique, earthy-brown soy and sesame oil chili pepper sauces, and copious condiments.
The Chinese consider the number eight lucky. We can all use a little luck, so we limit our list accordingly. Continue Reading »
Article Series - Demystifying Food in China
Bearded men, women in headscarves, pulled laghman noodles, pressed pomegranates, a boy who prepares his own vinegar sauce, and two Hoshang dumpling makers doing a dance around a traditional ceramic oven. This is China’s Kashgar night market. Continue Reading »