Looking for Food

One of the first things I like to do when I go to a different country is to check their supermarkets.

IMG_1309.JPG

I love to walk on the aisles, looking at all the different vegetables, fruits and products. I feel like a kid, exploring a new world, full of wonders. I find so interesting, how dramatically  our diets can change depending on the place we live.

IMG_6763

From tropical fruits in Brazil to street food such as fried breaded whole crab in China.  I still have no clue how someone can eat this crab in the middle of the street.

IMG_1497

Today is getting easier to find almost everything, everywhere, but, depending of where you live, you will have more options of that same product or not, it all depends on the popularity of it.

In Brazil for example, we just looove our pão de queijo ( cheese bread). You can find fresh-out-of-the oven ones, almost in every supermarket or bakery in Brazil.

IMG_9539

IMG_9554Little baguettes is a must in every brazilian breakfast table, and we like it fresh as well.IMG_9540

IMG_9552
Manioc bi-products, very popular in Brazil

Most of Brazilians have a very sweet tooth. We love cakes (always moist please), chocolate, pastries, fruits and of course ice cream and popsicles, to help us with the Brazilian heat.IMG_9538

IMG_9566

IMG_9560

IMG_9559IMG_9563

Brazilians drinks more beer than milk ( for real), and they also love their meat: pork, beef, chicken, you name it, everything they need to make amazing churrasco ( barbecue).

IMG_9558

IMG_9556

 

 

IMG_2830.jpgIn China it is said, that you need seven necessities to begin a day: Firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar and tea. After learning that I understood why the vinegar/sauce/oil area in the supermarket is soo big.

They have so many types of soy sauce and vinegar that is hard to choose from.

food grocery3
credit: kschimdt495

Tea is big part of the Chinese daily life. There is over 3.000 teahouses in Shanghai.

Hangzhou Longjing Tea Plantation 9
Hangzhou tea plantation/ credit:Shanghai pathways

 

 

IMG_2112.jpg

Tea in China can drastically varies in price, it depends what you are looking for. Here you can find from crappy tea bags to first grade loose leaf tea and also beautiful flowers infusions. They even have tea tastings on supermarkets around town.

IMG_1271

IMG_1303

IMG_1545
Bottled sweet tea

Dumplings, noodles and buns are on the list of the most popular food in China, no wonder why, I got so addicted to them. They are simply delicious.

Shanghaineses love their meat, specially pork and duck. You can find a lot of take out restaurants around town selling only pork or only poultry with different sauces for every taste. I’ve seen lines that went around the block.

IMG_2834

IMG_2672

Chinese diet also tend to have a lot of fruits, dark green leafs, and mushrooms which are so cheap to buy.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 4.02.32 AM.png
credit: thewoksoflife

IMG_1291IMG_2832Fruits shops  like this one are everywhere in the city.

Which foods do you like best?

 

 

“How do I like my eggs? Umm, in a cake”.

Before leaving São Paulo, my husband’s friends decided to throw a farewell dinner for him. I decided to bake a cake ( chocolate cake flavored with cumaru: an amazon spice, vanilla brigadeiro filling and nutella buttercream)  to take to the dinner. I thought it would be cool to decorated it with a red Chinese dragon made from sugar paste to celebrate our new home: Shanghai.

IMG_0600IMG_0605IMG_0606

IMG_0627IMG_0631IMG_0761

 

What do you think?

 

The search for the best Xiaolongbao

Even though Chinese is not a easy language to learn, I speak food. Therefore it wasn’t difficult for me to pronounce: Xiao Long Bao, which means: little basket dumpling or soup dumplings.

As you could see from my last food post, I am crazy about noodles. Actually I am crazy about any kind of pasta: Gluten free, quinoa, wheat, egg, rice you name it.

When I friend of mine told me about a restaurant that made fresh dumplings, I was quite eager to go there and try. That restaurant was Din Tai Fung.IMG_1265.jpg

I ate there on my second day here in Shanghai, and obviously it was love at first bite.

IMG_1267.JPG

After that, every time I walked down the street and saw dumplings, I felt a need to try them, but since I don’t speak Chinese (yet), I thought it would be safer to first do an online research. I found out that there is a xiaolongbao index: A website that sells a list  of the most perfect ( proportion wise: thin skin, fresh meat, abundant filling)  soup dumplings.So I decided to try the first one on their list: Zu ke lai.

theshanghaisoupdumplingindex.com/

Zu Ke Lai, is a very local place, which mean that they don’t speak english there.IMG_2384 IMG_2382

Because of that, I downloaded an app ( waygo) that can translate written Chinese, Korean and Japanese to english to help me order delicious food in non touristy places.

Before sitting at the table you have to go to the cashier, place the order and pay for it, and since was my first time using the app, and I don’t know what made me more nervous: The Chinese lady looking at my clueless self, my hungry husband or my excitement of being in a strange environment.IMG_2335IMG_2334

I ordered two things a rice shrimp dumpling and pork dumplings. Actually what I though it was pork dumplings. When we finally sat on the table with our number, I looked at the menu again with my app, and realized I had just ordered, and PAID for CHICKEN FEET, yes chicken feet, and I don’t even eat poultry ( which made me laugh). Of course neither me or my husband touched that, we both lacked courage.IMG_2353 On the other hand the shrimp dumplings were delicious, but four dumplings wasn’t going to start filling our bellies.IMG_2357

After those discoveries, I went back to the register and asked for pork dumplings. I wish it was easy like that.I Actually googled the word pork and the word dumpling and showed it to the lady, and she nodded what I understood as a yes. I waited anxiously for the food, and that time it wasn’t chicken feet lol.

IMG_2341IMG_2345

It was a very yummy basket full of very hot, juicy pork dumplings. The dumplings skin was so thin, and the filling, juice proportion was just perfect. IMG_2351IMG_2361

IMG_2374
Sooo hot!!

Flavor wise I still prefer Din Tai Fung, but it was a delicious lunch, and a super fun experience.

 

I Heart Ramen aka Noodles!

I am in Shanghai, mainland China, and one of my favorite things do to here is, to explore the wonders of the different Chinese cuisines this cosmopolitan city has to offer.IMG_1369.jpgIMG_1360.jpg

When I read that ramen (Japanese noodles) was actually introduced by the Chinese in Japan ( which makes sense since was the Chinese the ones who invented noodles.), that meant that they  would have a huge variety of noodle dishes, which made me a very happy gal indeed.

My relationships with noodles and soup are very ancient, strong and I can’t deny it. So when I saw a packed restaurant full of people eating  noodles, swimming in those broths full of yumminess, I didn’t have a choice but to enter the establishment and join them. IMG_1354.jpg

Moian is a very simply and modern noodle shop in Jing’an ( a neighborhood in Shanghai) that made me feel I was eating noodles in New York. IMG_1322.jpgIMG_1323.jpg

When you enter the place there is a couple of computers, which you  can browse the menu and place the order. Once you have printed the order ticket you go straight to the cashier and she will give you a number so the waitress can deliver the food to your table.

First they brought our juices in those cute, look a like mason jars (which I love) with colorful paper straws, and a few minutes later,  heaven on earth.IMG_1331.jpg

I ordered the beef noodles, and my husband the beef noodles with tomato broth, and I couldn’t decided which one I liked better.IMG_1359.JPG

IMG_1357.jpg

I will definitively have to come back there to try it again. I am a very happy gal indeed.

China here I am!

Hey folks, I know I have been away from the blog for a while. The past month and a half was very crazy for me. I guess even though I didn’t feel stressed at all about the moving, my body disagreed with me. First I had severe shoulder pain, that made me feel like a T-Rex, since I could only move my hands for two weeks, when I finally got better the next day (not kidding) I woke up with a crazy allergy that me look like a tomato, and on the day of the trip I felt very sick to the point I had to postpone the flight in order to go to the hospital. (Greek evil eye donations please!!)

IMG_1033
My last goodbye to my almost empty São Paulo’s apartment!

Thanks God, my hubby and the antibiotics, I felt much better and 2 days later we could finally fly to our new home. And now I can put you up to date.

The 14 hour flight left São Paulo Guarulhos on the early hours of April 13th to Doha Qatar, arriving there we had to wait for about five hours for our next flight, enough time to relax, eat a bit and explore the airport, which is so nice.

IMG_1082
Doha Night view from the Airplane
IMG_1059
yeah so nice to finally land!!

IMG_1085IMG_1088

IMG_1090
Burka store
IMG_1101
Bear and lamp sculpture
IMG_1118
My friend the camel

The airport lounge is so nice, and my soup was delicious!!

IMG_1114

At 2am we boarded our flight to Shanghai our final destination , which took about eight hours.

We arrived in Shanghai with 10 flights, which took us 2 hours in the immigration line.

IMG_1168IMG_1169

I was so tired by the time we arrived in the Hotel that I took a shower eat some food and slept for 15 hours. (new world record guys)

 

The weekend and nutella.

One of my best friends came last weekend to São Paulo for a conference, and I took the opportunity to enjoy a little bit of this city (indoors, since it was raining) that I love in her free time.IMG_9478.jpg

I picked her up at the airport, and we went back home, since I needed to take my dog ( Chloe) to the groomers to get a haircut and a bath. My sister in law’s dog – this cute little lion- was speeding the weekend at my house and I took him for a walk, while we waited for Chloe.

IMG_9476.jpg
Benny, Chloe and I

After that, we were so hungry, I took her to São Paulo Municipal market to eat delicious empanadas, and a humongous yummy cod fritter.

IMG_9467
Rachel and I

DSC_3369-Editar

IMG_9458
Brazilian Empanadas!! Yummy in my tummy!!
IMG_9455
São Paulo city market

Later at night, Rachel was feeling like eating italian food, so I took her to Eataly, which was recently opened in São Paulo.IMG_9696

Since the waiting time for the pasta restaurant  was about 1 hour, and we were soooo hungry, we decided to browse around the store….

IMG_9583

IMG_9592
A classic chef picture

Until we saw it. There… like it was in the end of the tunnel: the nutella bar. And all it took was a look at each other, we ended up eating dessert before dinner. But, seriously, who in this world can resist a nutella crepe? For me it is mission impossible.

IMG_9697

IMG_9578
My precious…

After that we barely had space in our stomach for pasta. But it was definitively worth it.

Time is Diamond!

Life gives every single person a beautiful shaped diamond, and this diamond represents our time.

Each moment we spend our time foolishly we are scratching it, making it smaller. And we can not and will not get these pieces back.

On the other hand when we use are time wisely, doing good to people and to ourselves we keep it intact and shiny.

I believe that each second we have in life is priceless and that memories are the most precious thing. They can not be taken aways from us.  When we are going through bad times, good memories can lift us up, give us strength and tell us not to give up.

With  our modern life we are always making excuses to ourselves on how we spend our time.

– I know I have to go the gym, but I will be just one more minute on facebook.(which end up being 5o.)

– Five more minutes to check my work e-mails, and then I will spend some quality time with my kids. (You loose track and when you realize you are done, the kids are already sleeping.)

I remember disliking having dinner with my family just so I could go to my bedroom and do something “more important” like watching  TV.

Today being older and living miles way from my parents and siblings, I wish I could have more dinners with them, just so I could hear their voices and see their beautiful smiles.

Everything comes and goes but memories stay.

Be smart take good care of your diamond. Keep it shining. be around those you love more often. Everything else can wait.