Mayonnaise Nation

Mayo is one of those things that some people absolutely adore and others despise.
While I was in Stockholm, I was struck by the amount of mayo used to flavor food.
Here are some examples of mayo-love I found during my sightseeing adventures:
1. At the famous food hall: Pre-prepared main meals
Where does mayo start and where does it end?
2. At the supermarket: Flavored mayo tubes
This display really made me want to paint!
In most cases, the flavor was indicated by the drawing on the end (shrimp, ham, smoked salmon, bacon, etc.) but at breakfast I encountered a tube with a picture of a little boy. …What flavor could this be?
(It turned out to be ham.)
3. At Marcus Samuelsson’s Airport Cafe “Street Food”: Mayo “frosting”
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this three tiered cake (sandwich)
laced with heaping amount of frosting (mayo).
Could mayo be a defining taste for Swedish cuisine? Does it make food taste more Swedish? I believe so!
Next time I’ll share my reasoning but in the mean time, just take a moment to imagine what it would be like to eat this cake/sandwich!
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Food Over Fashion

I used to be really into fashion. I strived to be up to date on on all the new trends.

Those days are long gone. Now, I’m more in tune with food and food related things.

For example, every time I looked into a show window when walking around the most crowded shopping area in London I spotted food!

Luck or Chance?

Case 1.

Selfridges Department Store

Does anyone know who these two Brits are at the table?

The couple were eating a full english breakfast.

Case. 2

H&M store window on Oxford Street

The hot dogs and hamburgers are fake but the potato chips are real!

 The words that came to my mind when I saw this was cheap, urban, and junk.
Not sure if this helps the brand.

Case. 3

Afternoon Tea at Harrods Department Store

I liked this presentation the best because it* looked pretty and delicate.
(*the dainty desserts!)

What are the things that you notice the most? Do you think that reflects your greatest interest in life?

Impromptu Summer Picnic

do-Ding!

The text read: “Do you fancy a picnic in Finsbury Park?”

The sun had been out over London that day and a simple picnic sounded like a lovely way to spend my last night with my friends.

I quickly texted that I would have everything prepared by the time they both came home.

Moments after, I was on the tube to the nearest Waitrose with two canvas bags slung over my shoulder. I was on a mission!

I carefully strategized the meal that would limit prep time, utensils, and clean up. I also wanted to include one thing that would push my friend to be adventurous.

Her boyfriend and I share an ongoing joke that I have a special talent in persuading her to try and like things she normally thinks she doesn’t like. He claims that she only will begin to enjoy certain foods after she tries them with me even if he has suggested them to her year after year. First was beer, than salmon.

I think the truth is that he lays the solid foundation for her to be open to the food, which is crucial for her to want to try it when I suggest it to her.

After 45 minutes, I emerged with 13 items.

The spread: whole roast chicken, baguette, smoked salmon terrine, two kinds of pâté, salad greens, green pea and pea shoot salad, marinated olives, blueberries, cured meats, and three hard cheeses.

I had, after much deliberation, chose two types of pâté. One  flavored with honey and orange and the other with herbs to see if my friend would like them.

The verdict?

She ate them both but said they tasted a bit metallic. But she did continue to eat.

Pretty in Pink Onions

Pink is my favorite color. It has been for awhile, although I try to hide it from time to time.
I used to pretend that my favorite color was red because I didn’t want to come off too girly.

But I have to confess that something about pink just makes my heart sing.

The energy I feel from pink makes me so giddy that I decided to have the wall in my office painted bubble gum pink. Well, to be honest, it was a mistake on my part because I thought the color read cranberry but it turned out to be pink.

Today, I decided to make some pickled red onions.
I love them as garnish in tacos, salads, and sandwiches!

I filled a medium saucepan with water and placed it on the stove. As I waited for the water to boil, I sliced up one HUGE red onion and poured 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into a measuring cup. Once the water reached a rowdy boil, I dumped the sliced onions in and blanched it for 1 min. I drained the onions and put them back into the sauce pan, poured the vinegar into the pot, and added cold water until it just covered the onions. I added a teaspoon of salt and gave the mixture a whirl. After returning the vinegar/onion soup to a boil, I let it simmer for 1 min and then transferred everything into a glass jar and let it cool.
WARNING: Be prepared to open all windows after this process because the vinegar becomes saturated in the air.

The result: beautifully pink tinted, crisp, and refreshing onions!

The pickled onions almost match the color of my office walls!

Woah, doesn’t that look cool?

Kimchi Chocolate

What flavors and textures go well with chocolate?

Fruit, nuts, salt, wafers, pretzels, chile, wine, tea, coffee, spices, and herbs are some of the usual combinations. I personally like pink peppercorn and earl grey tea infused into my chocolate.

But what are your thoughts about pairing kimchi with chocolate?

I’ve seen Japanese tourists buy a bunch of these at the Inchon International Airport in Korea. I never ventured to buy a box for myself until this August because they scare me a bit. Can you even imagine what they would taste like? I seriously doubt the spicy, sour, garlicky, and fishy flavor profile of kimchi would go well with chocolate.

I totally dismissed them. … …  But then I got curious. Now aren’t you wondering about them too?

I tried buying a box at the airport but I was told that the line was discontinued but may return in the near future. The lack of availability made me want to try them more!

According to the vendor, the chocolates are filled with a creamy kimchi filling (!) that didn’t have an overwhelming kimchi flavor.

If I were able to secure a box, would you try them with me?

Tomorrow, I’ll share my thoughts on another box of chocolates.
This time I will have tasted it so expect better descriptions and details!

Garbage Salad

It’s dinner time and you are about to board a five hour domestic flight in an hour.

What do you choose to eat?

a. Quickly buy a sandwich or salad to eat on the plane.

b. Line up for fast food.

c. Get a table at a pseudo restaurant.

d. Wait till you get on the plane to buy food.

Yesterday, I decided on option C because I was in the mood to indulge myself in the experience of airport dining. I chose Harry and Izzy’s because they are famous for their shrimp cocktails and steaks in Indiannapolis. I actually didn’t end up ordering either because “Garbage Salad” caught my eye.

The menu promised shrimp, Italian meats, cheese, celery, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes. Yes, I admit that this combination doesn’t seem appealing at all to begin with but I decided to try it out anyway. I also got a filet slider because I really don’t like traveling hungry.

First, I was disappointed that there was only one shrimp, sliced in half and the red thing you see on top was the strangest thing. I think it was a red pepper stuffed with some type of herbed cheese but I decided not to eat it because it made me think of a human pinkie. There were also some bits of mystery meat–brown and clumpy.

It was so random that it really made me think I was eating garbage! Where was this coming from? What were these things that were not even on the menu? I realized that the ingredients out of context was really getting to me.

I should have known what I was getting into but I’m glad I tried because now I know what to expect when I see garbage salad on the menu. Is this an Indiana thing or would I be able to find it in other parts of the US as well?

Oh Baby Corn

Do you like baby corn?

I don’t.

(Of course I don’t mean the real baby above!)

I don’t like the texture, the taste, the smell, and the appearance. I’m usually not a picky eater but just thinking about it makes me slightly sick. Although I have to admit that I haven’t had fresh baby corn, which might be truly delicious!

Don’t these look good?

Where does baby corn come from? Is it a smaller version of the corn that we usually have or is it a different variety altogether?

Turns out, baby corn is baby corn!

According to a Washington State University report, fresh locally grown baby corn has better texture and flavor compared to canned imports. Apparently, mid-August to mid-September is the season for finding baby corn at farmers’ markets.

The report recommends the following ways to prepare and enjoy baby corn:

  • Serve raw with other vegetables and a low-fat dip.
  • Toss cooked baby corn into your favorite pasta salad or tossed salad.
  • Include baby corn in any stir-fry dish.
  • Add baby corn to spaghetti sauce, a rice and bean dish, or casserole.
  • Serve steamed baby corn as a side dish topped with a bit of olive oil or butter and a dash of salt.
  • Include raw baby corn in vegetable soups or stews, adding near the end of cooking time.
  • Marinate baby corn to serve as a vegetable side dish or add to pasta or tossed salads.

To be honest, I am still not convinced that any of these preparations will make me an avid baby corn eater but I’ll have to wait till next summer to really decide for good.