A taste of the exotic

Sheryl often sends me pictures of the treats that we loved when we lived in Taiwan. This was a favourite in the summer.

Peter writes:

Relative to 25 years ago, when we arrived here in Charlottetown, the proportion of “fries-with-that” restaurants has dramatically decreased; there was a time when that was almost all you could get if you ate out.

Certainly the selection of food in Charlottetown has improved dramatically since I left years ago, both in terms of what you can find in the grocery stores or in restaurants. When I lived here, a taste of the orient, or let’s have something “different”, meant a trip to the Canton Cafe or a package of frozen Wong Wing from Kmart foods. Now when the feeling strikes I can head to Walmart and source some Asian Pears (水梨), Bok Choi and a wide assortment of sauces and spices. The Asian Pears coming direct from China and the Bok Choi often sourced from Mexico. For some reason Walmart seems to have the best selection which forces me to visit despite my general hatred of the place.

The only complaint I have with Chinese cuisine here is that it is either loaded with sugar or that it is what I can only describe as being too clean. Old woks impart flavour in food. I talked to the owner of Mad Wok on an occasion and he confirmed the change in flavour to suit local tastes. This is common of course, which is why in Taiwan they have hideous pizza covered with corn, stinky tofu, tuna and on and on. Incidentally my kids think these flavours are great.

The problem I have is that every time I mention eating out the kids refuse to go for curry, noodles or the like (my son does like the all you can eat Chinese buffet at St. Awards, but though the owners are nice, the food is garbage), so it’s almost always a “fries-with-that” restaurant, because for them, hamburgers and fries is exotic.