Matthew Amster-Burton is the author of three books: Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater, Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo, and Child Octopus: Edible Adventures in Hong Kong. He's also the cohost (with Molly Wizenberg) of the beloved food comedy podcast Spilled Milk and has been featured in the Best Food Writing anthology five times.
This is a great piece, although I'd argue that the takeaway is (as you implied) great tea DOES come cheap. You have to go crazy high-end with tea before the cost per serving exceeds a can of PBR.
Thanks very much, niks1973. I also prefer to make matcha with the chasen, and I keep several on hand—but one of them is reserved for making hot cocoa. :)
Hey, fsutrill! You can pulverize your own tencha at home and pass it through a very fine mesh strainer, but you're really better off buying it already ground. I just went to a cool tea shop in Vancouver BC called O5 where they let you grind your own tencha in a real stone grinder. A gimmick, but a pretty awesome one.
Matcha is made with just tea and water. You certainly can make a matcha latte with milk and sugar, and it'll be tasty, but don't waste good matcha on that--cheap "culinary" matcha is fine.
Shaking isn't going to produce as nice a thin, creamy layer of foam as you'll get from one of the other methods, but it'll be fine. Are you in Portland? They definitely sell matcha gear at Uwajimaya.
Modab, that's great! Couple of things:
1. If you have a Daiso store in your area, you can get incredibly cheap, decent-quality matcha whisks and bowls there. (Like a $4 whisk and $1.50 bowls.) You can also whisk your matcha with an Aerolatte or similar electric milk frother, and it works great. You can also shake it in a well-sealed container, like a mason jar or thermos.
2. As for water temperature, you can just boil water, pour it into an intermediate container (like a Pyrex measuring cup), and let it cool for one minute or so. That should do it.
Enjoy your matcha!
Thanks so much, Niko. Glad you enjoyed it.
Yeah, Beast, I figured a lot of this extended far beyond Hong Kong, but I don't have the firsthand experience to back it up.
propermake, we have the Orca card in Seattle. It's good on bus, streetcar, ferry, and our one train line. Not accepted on funicular or aerial tram, because they don't exist.
Thanks very much for the kind comments, folks.
Oh, good question, lhg. Tipping at Hong Kong cafes is uncommon, and most include a 10% service charge already. I should have mentioned that. Thanks!
SJB are very popular in Yokohama's Chinatown and are fairly readily available in Tokyo, if that helps anyone.
Couldn't agree more, Ed.
Just to be clear, I don't think there was anything remotely unusual about the interviews I did with Bianco. This is just the way he talks, and I think it's charming and funny, so I wanted to highlight it. And yes, I made it absolutely clear that I was a writer for Gourmet. The thing that struck me when I first met him last year is that aside from being a great pizza maker, this guy is a world-class character, and I'd never seen that highlighted. Which is weird, because most reporters love pizza, love eccentric characters, and curse a lot.
This was not a "David Chang move" for Bianco. It's just Bianco. He's not going to swear at people who come to his restaurant; he's just going to make them life-changing pizza.
lagomorph, you raise a good point, and I am not qualified to say whether this is a doner kebab or a gyro, since I have not tasted it.
Yeah, a lot of stuff on the site is reasonable. Not the part about low-fat cheese, though.
"Anyway, Matthew, I do agree with them that it's an important time for establishing food habits--it sounds like you do yourself, because you're reinforcing the habit that food is something to be enjoyed."
That's not what they mean, Wendy. They mean that taste preferences harden during this time like yesterday's Play-Doh. It's absurd.
delilah, I know a lot of adventurous eaters who grew up eating crap. That doesn't make your argument wrong, since you did say "usually," but I'm skeptical.
mcmvoices, I use lard for all sorts of things. Pie and Cornish pasty crusts, flour tortillas, refried beans, stir-frying. It really does make the flakiest crusts, although beef suet is also great.
Thanks, folks. I buy organic pork leaf fat from Skagit River Ranch at my local farmers market, and I render it at home. If you have an organic pork producer in your area (you probably do), they should be able to supply you with lard. Alternatively, if you don't insist on organic, check at an Asian or Latin American grocery; both should carry fresh lard or pork fat which will be much, much better than shelf-stable lard in a box.
Our friend Chris brings us salted licorice from Denmark. Iris hates it. I love it.
Does anyone else find that natto tastes like coffee to them? I do.
Cassaendra, most people in the world would be very surprised to hear that there's anything wrong with feeding babies table food. It's a cultural issue, not a health and safety issue.
Maureen, I'm with CharJTF. There are many good reasons to share your food with a baby, but preventing picky eating isn't one of them. I have the 4-year-old evidence right here.
Ironcheff, it depends. A lot of green teas do just fine at that temperature. It's only the delicate Japanese greens that I like that have a problem with it; they get really astringent.
Yeah, I think it would be perfect for that setting.
Regrettable, the Oz lunchbox is huge! You win.
Not only did I once write something on this topic, it had the same stock photo, no less!
Consider using a free online wiki such as PBwiki. The freeform organization, tagging, and searching makes it very easy to add and retrieve recipes (much easier than any desktop software I've tried, and I've tried many), and because it's online, you can pull up your favorite recipe at a friend's house, on vacation, on your phone, etc.
annien, I tried not to be too negative about the chains. The original Red Robin is in my neighborhood, and every time I've been to Red Robin I've enjoyed it.
Red Lobster, though, I went a couple years ago and found the menu and atmosphere extremely unappealing.
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