Soba, So Good—Is the Noodle’s Extinction True at Miyabi 45th?

It had the effect of a Trump speech, a shocking announcement on that Chef Mutsuko Soma would be leaving Miyabi 45th on February 13 to enjoy motherhood, with no definite plans for her return. By the end of the piece, pursuant to the Donald's pronouncements, I felt despair. Okay, so the simile is as thin as hand-pulled noodles but, hell, handmade soba would disappear maybe forever,... Continue Reading →

No S**t, Kukai Changes Its Name

A friend posted on his Facebook page that Kukai changed its name. The reason? It turns out that kukai means shit in Hawaiian. This would've been a sticky move for the company if they wanted to set up business on the Islands. This probably means they were considering just such an expansion when the kukai hit the fan.... Continue Reading →

Making Kuromame—Remembering My Father-in-Law

My father-in-law passed away earlier this year. Beloved patriarch of the family, he lived to be just shy of 99 years. Dad was a very intelligent man, alert to the end, avid sports fan, gardener, tinkerer who had a knack for doing things instinctively. He grew a bounty of vegetables in soil amended with compost he created from kitchen scraps and yard waste. Where... Continue Reading →

Prima Taste Singaporean La Mian Instant Noodles

While browsing through T & T Supermarket in Richmond, B.C., some instant noodles caught my eye. What intrigued me was that they were manufactured in Singapore, by a company called Prima Taste. At C$2.99 each on sale, they were a better bargain when converted to US dollars (about $2.33 at the time). I would discover later when I... Continue Reading →

Cornucopia of Fruit

I bought this basket of the most amazing collection of fruit from Granville Market in Vancouver—raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, red, green and black grapes, kumquats, strawberries and golden gooseberries. And for a mere $6.99. None of it is local, but what a deal!

Chicharrones, Filipino Style

While at my father-in-law's house in Southern California, my brother-in-law brought over chicharron curls (Pepe's Estilo Casero brand) that are conveniently bite-sized and come in several flavors. Though tasty, they were not what caught my attention. He said many Filipinos like to dip them in spicy vinegar (such as Mother's Best sinamak that he also brought over), which typically contains garlic... Continue Reading →

Rooster Sriracha Popcorn

It had to happen. Likely the fastest growing condiment in the U.S. had to find its way into a popular snack. POP! Gourmet Popcorn, manufactured in Kent, Washington, near where I live, now offers popcorn flavored with Huy Fong Foods' ubiquitous sriracha sauce. I found the bag at an Asian supermarket in San Gabriel, CA. The bag has the... Continue Reading →

Hawaiian Mango and Passionfruit

Hawaii grows many tropical fruits that we on the mainland don't commonly see: guava, mangosteen, jack fruit, starfruit, rambutan, lychee, longan. There are, of course, pineapples, coconuts and banana. We saw several varieties of mango at the Hilo Farmers Market. The one we purchased is called a rapozo, huge and heavy with juice. Slicing into it... Continue Reading →

Man vs. Beast—Part 2

Nature abhors a vacuum. Aristotle wasn't referring to my gazebo, but his declaration could easily apply to the springtime urge of robins to build a nest on the post tops otherwise not being used. Last year, I waged a holy war against a robin or two, not opposing their nursery so much as its consequence: bird poop getting dropped on our rattan chairs that... Continue Reading →

Anzac Biscuit, Down Under’s Cookie

A cookie, or biscuit as it's called in New Zealand, that started out as a practical way for Down Under mothers and wives to send spoilage-resistant cookies to their sons and husbands on the front lines of World War I, is arguably the iconic cookie of New Zealand and Australia. My first taste of the... Continue Reading →

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