Yrdyk

That’s the name of a town in Kyrgyzstan. It’s unusual to have a name with no vowels, in English, anyway.

This article from Roads & Kingdoms describes a Muslim minority group, called the Dungans, who live in this part of the world.

The article is about more than food — we learn about their agriculture based society, as opposed to the traditional Kyrgyz culture which is nomadic for example, and we learn that the Dungan tradition is to marry only other Dungans, but that has changed recently to ensure their survival — but some of the quotes I liked best are about the food culture:

“(They) consider cooking to be a work of art, the dining table a blank canvas that must be completely filled, always with an even number of dishes.”

“The greatest insult you can give a Dungan women is to call her food untidy.”

A day in Kyoto

Summer vacation is coming soon. Do you have travel plans? Do you make an itinerary, or do you just wing it?

Here’s one person’s travelogue of a day in Kyoto. It’s more meaningful to me because I’ve been there. Have you? Did you do any of the same things she did?

“What to do with one day in Kyoto”

(from Tofugu)

That’s my photo, not one from the article. It’s one of my favorite photos from my last trip to Kyoto. I kept imagining just one crazy bee buzzing around. (Students, do you get why this sign is funny to native English speakers?)

One thought about the article: this may sound too critical, but it seems to me that if you’re in Kyoto for just a day, you should skip the falafel and eat tofu. Kyoto has some really, really amazing tofu shops and restaurants, and it’s much more of a “When in Rome” expierence. But to each her own.

Kê-Tsiap and other condiments

Or rather, the word “ketchup” has its origins in the Chinese language. へぇぇぇ。

Kê-Tsiap, Catsup Or Ketchup?

More about the origins of ketchup:

And here’s something called “ketchup leather” that’s less messy than the liquid kind.

I have some stories about ketchup. Ask me in class! But ketchup was a more ubiquitous condiment in my childhood than soy sauce, or others I use a lot now (つゆ、ポン酢、おたふくsauce、etc…). And the mayonnaise I grew up with was nothing like Kewpie. We talked about condiments in one class the other day. Do those students remember the word?

Also, what is “aurora sauce” and what’s the origin of that name? Explain it in your portfolio and add some of your favorite condiments, dishes that need condiments, original condiments, and more.

Can you imagine someone making おたふくsauce “leather” to put on your okonomiyaki?