Spicy Green Mango

--Living and eating with a dash of whimsy and a sprinkling of spice--

  • I'm a budding food-tographer turned blogger who's insanely passionate about food..real food...the kind that sprouts from the earth and you have to wash it to eat it. Yes, hearty real food. I live to eat and I eat to live and am loving every bit of it! If you're here, then I suppose we share the same passion! Enjoy!

Posted by Spicy Green Mango 3 comments

I know, I know..my dear readers, I've neglected you for too long.  Well, for good reason, of course!  After a much-needed vacation in (South) East Asia this past month, I've finally gotten over being jet-lagged and picked my butt out from lounging in la la land to the world of the blogosphere.  I'm back and with more goodies for you to feast your eyes on.  So, knock yourself out!


After reading much about this historical empire of the Far East and receiving an invitation from my expat friends to visit the beloved land of over a billion people, I knew I couldn't resist.  Following a twelve hour flight from San Francisco, I was greeted with my beaming hosts who graciously took my hubby and I under their wings for the duration of our stay.  Personal tour guides who can speak the language...very important!  Thanks, guys! 

Alright, now on to the food portion.  In all honesty and b/c I really can't do much sugarcoating on my blog, I can say that on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), the food is China is about a 5.  I know, some of you are going to wonder what the heck has gotten into me? Nothing much---just that my own personal preference and expectations were somewhat shot. 

First up: Beijing.  The food left me with much to be desired. My friends had warned me about how Northern Chinese cuisine was different from the South as well as what we are all used to eating here in the States. Little did I realize how right they would be. And this is coming from a gal with a penchant for trying new things. I think it's b/c everytime I ordered a spicy dish, the cooks would douse it with loads of cumin and fennel and the combination of the two is just overkill in my book.  Now, I'm not saying everthing was bad b/c it was not.  Anything that's grilled or put on a skewer is always fair game to me.  Additionally, the hot pot meal that we experienced was amazing from start to finish. 

However, I was appalled when I saw shop vendors lining their shelves with my Peking Duck in a bag! In a bag! Now, I know that chomping down on a Peking Duck definitely isn't the healthiest thing in the world (with all the fatty juiciness of the skin and dark meat), but at least it's fresh and tasty. I couldn't even bear to look at the ones in the bags. My hosts agreed and kindly made reservations to have our Peking duck roasted and cooked to perfection 50 minutes before we headed out for dinner. Unfortunately, the lighting was pretty dim in the restaurant so I didn't have the chance to snap a shot, but it was a great meal, nonetheless and we all washed it down with some ice, cold Yanjing beer--Beijing's finest.  Yeah, don't drink the water is what tourists are warned from doing as they travel--but definitely taste the local beer. 

While the food left me mildly satiated, the historical landscape of Beijing surpassed all of my expectations. The city is the embodiment of what China used to be before its heavily Westernized influences (such as the case in Shanghai with its towering skyscrapers and modernized structures). The architectural details found in Beijing, including the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven, is symbolic of the special attention paid to balance and symmetry--beckoning true labor of love. And then, there was the Great Wall. The name pretty much sums it all up, so I won't go into detail about that. Again, color me highly impressed with the landscape of Beijing.  The city will blow you away (but just be sure you know somebody who can speak Mandarin).

In China, your bike is pretty much your livelihood.  You can transport practically anything on it (as much as you can pile on), sleep on it or like this nice lady here, sell fruits on it.  The fruits are quite fresh and I was  surprised that they grew plenty of the same kinds of fruit I'm used to eating in the States (ie: cherries, apricots, kiwis, etc), so I opted for some parrot mangoes, instead.  The color reminds me of the dewy skin of tangerines kissed with drops of grenadine.  They're a bit stringy, but so darn sweet and delish. I ended up devouring one all by myself within a mere 5 minutes. I know, I'm just horrible.

And we (alright, it was all my idea) made our hired driver pull over on the way home from our Great Wall adventures just so I could pick up some fresh apricots.  So good!

Exploring Beijing..

And some images from Shanghai...

Below, our first and finest meal in Shanghai.  Okay, so anything with mushrooms or a crab in it in Southern China will be amazing (hands down, amazing!). 

And then a trip to the Water Village where street vendors lined their stalls with plump & juicy crawfish, artfully-skewered quails and of course, chicken on sticks!

Okay, stay tuned for an upcoming post on Thailand!


3 Responses

  1. Lindisms says:

    where's Shanghai's claim to fame, the xiao long bao? tell me you ate some!

  2. OMG! I took pictures of it, but I was SOOO stuffed with all the street food that it was the last vendor we came upon and I was so sad b/c I couldn't eat the soup dumplings!!!

  3. Jackie says:

    Loooks so good, my dear! I love that first shot.

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