Ottawa Turkish Festival (1st annual) – July 28, 2007

Ottawa Turkish Festival During a shopping excursion to the Rideau Centre this weekend, I picked up a flier advertising Ottawa’s first annual Turkish Festival. The event is scheduled to begin 9:00 am on Saturday July 28, 2007 and festivities will last the day. It will take place at Confederation Park. Admission is free to the general public. According to the related website, the festival will feature Turkish food, live music, and folk dances. Things to see and do follow: Turkish folk dances, Rumi’s Whirling Dervishes, and authentic Turkish music Ebru, water marbling, demonstration Turkish decorative... | Continue reading article

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West African Barbecued Chicken from Yre’s

Counter Door and Front Window Menu During the same week a colleague introduced me to Bosnian cevapcici, another colleague, my better half, and I decided to try Haitian cuisine. The closest we could find was barbecued chicken from Yre’s. Yre’s is a take-out restaurant, located in downtown Ottawa at the intersection of Charlotte and Rideau (168 Charlotte Street). Unfortunately, it happens to be in a building that is slated to be demolished in lieu of another condo building. The same building also houses a shawarama place and what once was a barber shop. When you... | Continue reading article

Jam-Jams at Nihao Teahouse

Home-made Jam Jam Jam Jam Cross-section During my latest visit to the Nihao Tea House, my better half and I noticed something delightfully whimsical on the menu, “Home Made Jam Jam Cookie.” How could anyone say no to cookies this cute? We couldn’t. Though the menu sported pictures of heart-shaped Jam Jam cookies, the available Jam Jam’s were flower shaped. They consist of two cookie-cutter shaped cookie pieces, a layer of strawberry jam sandwiched in between, and a dusting of powdered sugar on top. The cookie pieces were soft and buttery. The jam was sweet,... | Continue reading article

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Unusual Appetizer: Insects in Thailand

Eating Insects in Thailand According to an article from BBC News, insects are a thriving agricultural industry in Thailand. They are farmed in a similar manner with which Western agriculture grows livestock. This includes breeding them and growing them to maturity. Prized for their protein content, fried crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, water beetles, bamboo worms and ant eggs are popular snack foods with Asian and Middle Eastern tourists. The occasional, usually intoxicated, Western tourist will partake in them as well. The author of the “In Pictures” article, Kate McGeown, sampled some fried grasshoppers from a street... | Continue reading article

10 Great Tips when Heading out to a Restaurant

Lovely Restaurant The only reason I even see MSN.com is because I need to visit hotmail.com (aka: Microsoft Live Mail) from time to time to keep my MSN Messenger account alive. However, Digg.com dug an interesting article from MSN Money that provides good insight when visiting restaurants. The title of the article is “10 things your restaurant won’t tell you.” I find the title somewhat deceptive. The title’s connotation is far too negative. Restaurants are businesses. Most are not out to swindle you. Nevertheless, here are some highlights. The picture is of the Foundation Restaurant... | Continue reading article

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“A Beijing street vendor’s steamed buns include cardboard ” – updated (July 19, 2007)

Baozi sold from a street vendor If ever anyone wondered how not to make baozi, please refer to a news article from yahoo.com. Accordingly, an undercover investigation by a Chinese TV crew found that baozi sold in a Beijing neighborhood include a rather unsavory ingredient: treated and flavoured cardboard. The investigation surreptitiously filmed workers taking squares of cardboard, soaking them to a pulp in a plastic basin of caustic soda (sodium hydroxide), mincing the pulp with a cleaver, and flavoring the resultant mixture with fatty pork and powdered seasonings. This mixture was then used to... | Continue reading article

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The Nasty Bits: Ox Heart Anticuchos

Ox Heart Chef Fergus Henderson is well known in foodie circles as the person who brought attention back to the nasty bits (aka: offal) that were coveted by our fore-parents and largely ignored by contemporary cooks and restaurateurs. Arguably, his first foray into foodie consciousness came from an old episode of Cook’s Tour. During the episode, host, Chef Anthony Bordain, visits Chef Henderson’s St. John Restaurant in London, England. There, he partakes of a three course meal that includes pig’s head, trotters, marrow, and ox heart. Regarding the ox heart, Chef Bordain seemed to thoroughly... | Continue reading article

“Giant Mushroom picked near Tapachula, Mexico” (July 11, 2007)

Mega-mushroom According to yahoo.com , a 20 kg (41 lbs) white mushroom was picked in a forest near a coffee farm in the Mexican state of Chiapas, Mexico. Cheapas borders Guatamala. The mushroom, belonging to the macrocybe titans taxon, measures approximately 70 cm in height. Several other giant specimens of this recently accepted genus of mushroom have been found. These ginormous mushrooms are common to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Martinique. The image comes from yahoo.com. Anyone else thinking about having sauteed mushrooms as a side for dinner tonight? If you are, Alton Brown... | Continue reading article