'Local' is always on the menu in Okinawa
March 10th, 2014
01:45 PM ET
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When it comes to food movements, the word “local” is a rarity in Okinawa. That's because restaurants in Japan's southernmost prefecture have been doing the local thing long before it was trending - or even just trendy.

World-renowned for promoting health and longevity, traditional Okinawan cuisine uses primarily local ingredients. What's more, it's easy to find.
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Filed under: Asian • Japanese • Local Food


February 6th, 2014
09:45 AM ET
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Despite being an object of culinary fascination around the world, balut is no beauty queen.

The 18-day-old fertilized duck egg - a snack widely eaten in the Philippines - has revolted even the most daring foodies with its carnal textures, earning it lofty rankings on many a "most disgusting/strange/terrifying food" list.

While food journalists commonly label balut as the Philippines' "much loved delicacy," in reality Filipinos are decidedly split over their nation's oft-sung snack.
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Filed under: Filipino • Taboos


45 essential treats from Taiwan
January 29th, 2014
10:45 AM ET
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Small eats, and a lot of them, are the big thing in Taiwan.

The culinary philosophy here is eat often and eat well.

Sure, there's the internationally accepted three-meals-a-day dining format, but why be so limited when you can make like the Taiwanese and indulge in gourmet snacking at any time of the day?

The Taiwanese capital, Taipei, has around 20 streets dedicated to snacking.

Every time you think you've found the best streetside bao, the most incredible stinky tofu or mind-blowing beef noodle soup, there's always another Taiwanese food shop that surpasses it.
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Filed under: Asian • Bite • Taiwanese


January 27th, 2014
02:30 PM ET
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The first time the South Korean factory owner watched his North Korean employees nibble on a Choco Pie, they appeared shocked - even overwhelmed.

He summed up their reaction to the South Korean snack in one word: "Ecstasy."

Much like what Twinkies are to Americans, South Korea's Choco Pies - two disc-shaped, chocolate-covered cakes, sandwiching a rubbery layer of marshmallow cream - are ubiquitous, cost less than 50 cents and are full of empty calories.

But on the other side of the Korean border, the snacks are viewed as exotic, highly prized treats, selling on North Korea's black markets for as much as $10, according to analysts. Their rising popularity in the north reveals an unexpected common ground between the two Koreas, despite their fractious relationship - a shared sweet tooth.
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For the love of Macau's egg tarts
December 12th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
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There aren't many people who can claim that their lives have been changed by an egg tart, but chef Raymond Wong - who heads Macau’s Institute for Tourism Studies Educational Restaurant - says when he tasted Macau’s famous local Portuguese tarts there was no looking back.

“I left Hong Kong when I was just nine years old,” says Wong, who grew up in San Francisco and studied at the culinary program at San Francisco City College.

“But when I came back here in 2004, I went to Macau with my fiancé and she took me to a famous shop for egg tarts.”
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Filed under: Asian • China • Chinese • Obsessions


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