Maple Valley Tea World: Great Bubble Tea at a Reasonable Price

In 1983, a tea stand owner in Taiwan, named Liu Han-Chieh, originated the first bubble tea. According to, this concession owner was the first to add tapioca pearls to a cold infused tea drink that was already popular among elementary school children. The original tea drink was made by taking brewed tea and mixing it with powdered fruit flavorings to sweeten it. It was then served in clear plastic cups. Liu Han-Chieh topped the drink with tapioca pearls, which promptly sank to the bottom of the cup, and added a thick straw. The result... | Continue reading article

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We spent a day the “Turkish Way” – Notes from 2007’s Turkish Festival

One of the lesser promoted of Ottawa’s summer cultural festivals is the annual Turkish Festival. Unlike the much larger and week-long Lebanese or Greek festivals, the local newspapers barely mention the Turkish Festival. In particular, the Greek Festival is usually advertised weeks in advance of the event. During the Greek Festival, there is always an editorial, describing Greek food and how every year more and more lamb is served to attendees. The Turkish Festival shouldn’t be missed. Here are pictures and videos of the inaugural event from 2007: The inaugural event was held on a... | Continue reading article

Another form of Shawarma – grilled, not rotisserie

The friend of mine who introduced me to chicken shawarma platters from the Shawarma Palace, recently told me about a form of shawarma that borrows from the tradition, but is entirely prepared on a griddle. He further informed me that this form of shawarma is popular in Boston. Like me, my friend is used to the rotisserie prepared shawarma where the meat is cut from columns that are vertically roasted. This method of roasting chicken, lamb or beef produces meat that develops an intensely flavored crust. Shawarma Platter Outer Pita Grilled Chicken Menu During brunch... | Continue reading article

7 Alternative uses for Olive Oil

Cheap Extra Virgin Olive Oil The Superstore on Carling and Kirkwood is again selling Extra Virgin Olive Oil pretty cheaply. Why do I bring this to your attention? Though virgin olive oil has a low smoke point and is inappropriate for such things as sautéing foods, it has its place in the kitchen. It’s fruity peppery flavor adds different dimensions to emulsions such as dressings and pestos. It easily substitutes butter for finishing dishes. Besides, olive oil is praised for providing many health benefits. According to, researchers have demonstrated that some phyto-chemicals in olive... | Continue reading article

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Meat and Potato Breakfast

Artery Clogging Good! I don’t want to sound sexist, but I’m sure my male readers will understand me. You know you’ve found a “keeper” when you wake up one Saturday morning and you’re served the following for brunch: lightly salted pan fried potatoes, thinly sliced grilled sirloin steak, and an over-easy egg. Though far from balanced or healthy, this breakfast represents the ultimate in meat and potato fare. The steak was medium rare. The egg was just runny. The potatoes were crusted on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Thanks sweetie Before anyone asks,... | Continue reading article


Adventures In Barbecuing 3: Chinese Barbecued Pork

There’s nothing more characteristic of a Chinese deli than the glazed Char-siu hanging in the window. Char-siu, otherwise known as Chinese Barbecued Pork, isn’t really barbecued in the traditional sense. It consists of strips of fatty pork that are hung from forks and cooked in a vertical roaster. Its Chinese name, Char-siu, means “fork roasted.” Because most home cooks don’t have access to a powerful vertical roaster, we need to resort to slow roasting Char-siu horizontally in an oven. One weekend, I decided to determine if the Chinese Barbecued pork can actually be made on... | Continue reading article

Greekfest (August 9-19, 2007)

Dancers from Greekfest ’06 More Dancers If you’re like me and your only exposure to Greek culture is a souvlaki plate or a gyro sandwich, the Ottawa Greek Summer Festival or “GreekFest”, maybe a necessary event to attend. If not, you’d still be hard pressed to miss this annual 10-day festival and its many attractions. According this year’s motto, if you attend GreekFest, you can “Live a day the Greek Way.” The images of the dance troupes from last year’s festival comes from the photo archive on Greekfest will again be held at the... | Continue reading article

Adventures in Barbecuing 2 – Cevapcici

Having repeatedly enjoyed traditionally prepared Bosnian cevapcici from Skela on 956 Merivale Road, I decided to try my hand at making my own. Besides, with the summer more than half over, I have to exploit my access to a gas barbecue as much as possible. I thus armed myself with a modified recipe from the Frugal Gourmet, some tips from a colleague, and some information from various websites and made an attempt. My first encounter with these caseless sausages appeared on foodiePrints sometime ago. What ended up coming off the grill was visually acceptable. The... | Continue reading article