'traditions' on Serious Eats

What Weird Family Foods Did You Grow Up Thinking Were Normal?

Nut-studded cheese ball from lisa_eglinton on Flickr There's a great discussion going on over at Chowhound about family foods that we thought were normal... until we moved out of the house. A few highlights so far: chili served with peanut butter, Cap'n Crunch with whipped cream, chicken soup with a side of mayo, Wonder bread with sour cream and corn syrup, and hot Jell-O. What weird family foods did you grow up with?... More

Steamed Whole Fish for the Chinese New Year

Whole fish is a Chinese New Year tradition that comes from "Cantonese phrases associated with whole fish, that is, fish with heads and tails intact. They mean "happy endings and beginnings," "everything is perfect," and there will be leftovers every year -- a sign of prosperity." Kimberly Moy includes a recipe for steamed whole fish, which is pretty simple to make but requires that you use the best freshest fish possible, because "in old-school Cantonese cooking, steaming a fish with the barest of ingredients is the best way to show its freshness".... More

SF Chronicle Food Section Roundup: Valentine's Day Menu, Mayonnaise, and Chinese New Year

In Dining high on the hog for Chinese New Year, Olivia Wu discusses traditional foods of the day, how lavishly the New Year is feted in both Asia and in San Francisco, and lists ten mission critical tips to booking and ordering a private banquet at a fine-dining Chinese restaurant. This one is I think potentially most useful: "Ask for the restaurant's fixed-price menus for a 10-course meal. They can start at around $350 and go up to $650; some restaurants have menus composed for each price level. This is a good idea, especially if you don't know the restaurant and the chef doesn't know your tastes, or you don't know how to organize and pace a 10-course meal." Other... More

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