Send me food!A viewer of White Guy Eats Foreign Foods, Tara, sent in a wonderful idea. My challenge is that my small town doesn't have much culinary diversity. Most of the cool sounding things that you've all suggested are not available around here.
So Tara has suggested that if you've got a suggestion for a food for me to try, send it to me :)
I am not too sure how this might work out for transporting through mail, etc...but If someone is game to give it a try, I'll try it. And I'll mention your name, website on the video.
If you are a foreign food company that would like to see your product on a White Guy Eats Foreign Foods video, send me what you've got and I'll give you my opinion of it...but be aware that I may not like it (I like almost everything) and will say so.
Follow the blogger profile link to the right to get my email address and drop me a note. I can give you the info you'll need to send me stuff.
On the way home from Vloggercon last month we stopped in Langley, BC for the night. We finally found some pho soup:
Pho soup is a traditional Vietnamese noodle dish. It is served as a bowl of white rice noodles in clear beef broth with thin cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket), tendon, tripe, meatballs, chicken leg, chicken breast, other chicken organs (heart, liver, etc.), and other ingredients such as green onions, white onions, coriander leaves, ngo gai ("saw leaf herb"), mint, basil, lemon or lime, bean sprouts, and chile peppers. The last four items are usually provided on a separate plate, which allows customers to adjust the soup's flavor as they like. Some sauces such as hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and the popular Thai hot sauce, Sriracha, are popular additions as well. Phở can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The broth is generally made by boiling beef (and sometimes also chicken) bones, oxtails, flank steak, and spices, and takes several hours to prepare. Spices include Saigon cinnamon, star anise, and ginger. The noodles, called bánh phở in Vietnamese, are traditionally cut from wide sheets of fresh rice noodles similar to Chinese shahe fen, although dried noodles (also called "rice sticks") may also be used.
Pho originated in northern Vietnam and spread to southern Vietnam in the mid-1950s, after the defeat of the French and the eventual partitioning of the country. The communist government of North Vietnam forcibly closed many private phở businesses in the 1950s, opening government-run eateries in their place, which tended to offer phở of rather inferior quality. Northern Vietnamese fleeing communist rule for South Vietnam introduced phở to their southern counterparts. Unlike in Hanoi in North Vietnam, the phở business flourished in South Vietnam, especially Saigon.
With the arrival of anti-communist Vietnamese exiles and refugees (that is, hailing from South Vietnam) in the post-Vietnam War period, phở was also gradually introduced to Western countries, especially to France and the United States, both of whom were major actors in Vietnam's colonial and post-colonial history. There are also many phở restaurants in Australia and Canada, as these countries also received many Vietnamese refugees and immigrants. Non-refugee Vietnamese immigrants also brought phở noodles to the former Soviet bloc countries, including Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic.
There are several regional variants of phở in Vietnam, particularly divided between northern (Hanoi, called phở bắc or northern phở; or phở Hà Nội), central (Huế), and southern (Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City). One regional phở may be sweeter, and another variation may emphasize a bolder and spicier flavor. "Northern phở" tends to use somewhat wider noodles and green onions. On the other hand, southern Vietnamese generally use thinner noodles (approximately the width of pad Thai or linguine noodles), and add bean sprouts and a greater variety of fresh herbs to their phở instead.
Cultural practices: Vietnamese phở restaurants usually retain the cultural practice of not delivering the bill to a customer's tables, since it is considered rude—in Vietnamese culture, it is seen as a way of trying to rush the customer out the door. Most tables usually have a numbering system and have chopsticks, spoons and condiment dispensers.
The use of condiments such as chile sauce, hoisin sauce or basil leaves could be considered unorthodox among some consumers.
Styles of phở Some Vietnamese restaurants have begun catering to non-Vietnamese customers by opening in other areas. Adapting to local tastes and diets, some Vietnamese restaurants in the United States have also started making chicken-based phở (phở gà) or even vegetarian phở, in addition to the traditional beef noodle soup. Seafood-based phở has also been known to exist, although it is not considered real phở. Another variation of phở involves using egg noodles instead of rice noodles. There are also Korean and Thai variants of phở available.
Phở tái lăn: Another style of phở which is rare even among Vietnamese is phở tái lăn, served with beef only; the herbs added may vary. Thin slices of beef are char-fried in a wok; the chef puts some oil into the wok and tilts it so that the oil will catch fire and the beef will be fried inside-out (normally when stir-fried, the meat doesn't have direct contact with fire but with the wok instead). In some aspects, this style of phở is better even for Vietnamese and more suitable for the taste of foreigners who are not accustomed to eating raw beef.
The restaurant down the block and around the corner from Vloggercon (Swedish American Hall) looked a bit rough in the serving area, but once you got your food and settled way back at the end of the place it was (I can only imagine) like a bit of mexico. The tiles and pictures of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera we great. There were Diego's paintings on the walls.
I also enjoyed a bottle of Jarritos The word jarrito means "little jug" in English and refers to the Mexican tradition of drinking water and other drinks in clay pottery jugs.
burrito A burrito usually consists of a meat such as beef, chicken, or pork as well as other ingredients such as rice, beans, and salsa. The ingredients are then wrapped in a large flour tortilla that has been lightly grilled (or sometimes steamed) to soften the tortilla and make it more pliable.
Burritos are the traditional food of Ciudad Juarez, a city in Northern Mexico, where you can buy them at restaurants and thousands of corner stands. In this border town there are eateries that have established their reputation after decades serving burritos. They are eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Usual ingredients include barbacoa, mole, winies (hot-dogs cooked in a tomato and chillies sauce), refried beans and cheese, deshebrada (shreded slow-cooked flank steak) and chile relleno. The deshebrada burrito also has a variation in chile colorado (mild to moderately hot) and salsa verde (very hot).
Burritos are commonly called tacos de harina (flour tacos) in Eastern Mexico and burritas (feminine, with 'a') in northern-style restaurants outside of Northern Mexico proper. A long and thin fried burrito similar to a chimichanga is prepared in Sonora, Mexico and vicinity and is called a chivichanga.
Long time no tasteIt's been a long time since I posted here.
We had difficulties with our camera, with encoding, and with ideas for new foods to try out. We live in a small town in BC, Canada and while the foreign cuisine is not bad here there isn't a lot to choose from.
We've recently acquired a new camcorder that really makes it easy to capture video and a recent purchase of QuickTime Pro for windows takes care of the encoding issues. Now it's ideas that we need.
Feel free to leave a comment, email me or whatever. If you've got a foreign food that you'd like more people to know about, let me know and I'll see what I can do about giving it a try!
Falafel (Arabic: فلافل or طعمية; Hebrew: פלאפל) is a fried ball or patty of spiced field beans or chickpeas, dating back to Biblical times and originating somewhere on the Indian subcontinent. Falafel is today eaten in India as well as in Pakistan and the Middle East. It is traditionally served with a yoghurt sauce, as a sandwich in pita bread, or as an appetizer.
Though its origin is uncertain, it is believed by some that it originally came from India, where it was made with spiced soured bread. The word "falafel" comes from the Arabic word فلفل (filfil), meaning pepper, and probably ultimately from Sanskrit pippalī. Falafel (at least the Middle Eastern style) is made from field beans, chick peas or any combination of the two. The Egyptian variation exclusively uses field beans, while other variations may exclusively use chick peas. What makes falafel different from many other bean patties is the beans are not cooked prior to use. Instead they are soaked, possibly skinned, then ground with other ingredients and deep fried.
Recent culinary trends have seen the triumph of the chickpea falafel over the field bean falafel. Chickpea falafels are served across the Middle East, and popularized by expatriates of those countries living abroad.
In Israel, falafel (along with the hummus) is sometimes referred to as "Israel's National Snack" (though some people claim it does not actually originate in Israel).
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Email request: VegemiteJoan emailed me suggesting that I try vegemite, here's the clip:
Run time: 3 min. 7 sec. QuickTime (~13 MB)
Vegemite (pronounced "VEH-gee-mite", IPA: ['vɛdʒɪˌmaɪt]) is the registered brand name for a dark brown, salty food paste mainly used as a spread on sandwiches and toast, though occasionally used in cooking. Popular in Australia and New Zealand Vegemite is semi-jokingly called one of Australia's national foods—it is seldom found elsewhere. Food technologist Dr. Cyril P. Callister invented Vegemite in 1923 when his employer, the Australian Fred Walker Company, had him develop a spread from Brewer's Yeast after war had disrupted the supply of imported yeast spreads.
While highly popular in Australia and New Zealand, it has never been successfully marketed elsewhere. It is notorious for the dislike it generates amongst some foreigners, particularly Americans. Note that Vegemite is not liked by all Australians - many find it far too salty to be palatable - but it remains an iconic symbol of Australia.
Vegemite is often spread with liberal amounts of butter to help to soften the strong taste, or with sliced or melted cheese. It is also a key ingredient in the popular "Cheesymite Scroll" or "Cheddarmite Scroll" produced by bakeries in Australia, a savoury spiral pastry which includes cheese spread and vegemite.