Halal 101: The Ingredient Substitutes – Frog Legs

Keberadaannya terasa cukup kontroversial mengingat bentukan hewan, habitatnya, serta memang tidak terlalu familiar di kalangan warga yang sehari-harinya menikmati masakan halal.

Namun di beberapa jenis masakan terutama Chinese food, kaki kodok adalah sebuah kelaziman tersendiri. Nah, rupanya ada penggantinya yang cukup mirip dengan tekstur yang serupa.


FROG LEGS 

Substitusi:

Daging ayam putih.
Empat pasang kaki kodok setara dengan satu pon daging ayam.


Information credit: Eat Halal

Thank the Ottoman Empire for the taco al pastor (via PRI)

Tacos al pastor from Carmela’s Mexican Restaurant in Beaumont, Texas

At the Supermercado Mexico in Portland, Oregon, you’ll find a turning spit of pork, basted with chili and onions, dripping fat and flavor. Shave some off into a tortilla and you’ve got a taco al pastor, the classic Mexican street food.

It’s a similar scene halfway across the world in Jerusalem. At the hole-in-the-wall Al Waary restaurant, there’s a vertical rotisserie of beef spinning next to the flames, flavored by tangy vinegar. Shave some off into a pita, and you’ve got shawarma — the quintessential Middle Eastern street meat.

If you’re thinking these beloved dishes might be linked, you’re right. So we hit the street food trail to find out, starting in Jerusalem.

“Shawarma is very, very interesting,” says Ali Qleibo, a Palestinian anthropologist, sitting at the Al Waary shawarma joint. The origin of the word shawarma comes from the Turkish word çevirme, which means “turning.”

Ali Qleibo, a Palestinian anthropologist, in front of Al Waary shawarma stand in Jerusalem

You can find some version of shawarma everywhere in the Middle East where the Ottoman Empire once reigned.

“Turks call it döner kebab; Greeks call it gyro; Iraqis call it kas,” Qleibo says. “This shows you the all-pervasive influence of the Ottoman Empire, because all the subjects of the Ottoman Empire eat shawarma even though they call it by different names.”

Of course, the people of the Ottoman Empire didn’t all stay there. About 36,000 people under Ottoman rule left for Mexico between the late 19th and early 20th century.

“People came from as far as Egypt. I found some people [who] came from Iraq,” says Theresa Alfaro-Velcamp, a history professor at Sonoma State University who has tracked the migration of Middle Easterners to Mexico. “The majority came from the Levant, as it was called during that time, which is now modern-day Lebanon and Syria.”

The migrants left for the usual reasons: looking for economic opportunity, dodging army conscription and escaping sectarian violence. And when they arrived, they brought their food with them. “By the 1930s, there were restaurants that served shawarma,” says Jeffrey Pilcher, a historian and author of the book “Planet Taco.”

A shawarma sandwich in Jerusalem. Swap in pork for lamb, and a tortilla for a pita, and you’ve got the Mexican classic, Taco al Pastor

Then the cuisine morphed: “During the 1960s, the Mexican-born children of these Lebanese migrants … start opening up their own restaurants, and they start to create a kind of a hybrid cuisine,” Pilcher says.

“They take the technology that they grew up with in these Lebanese restaurants, the vertical rotisserie — but instead of using lamb, they use pork,” Pilcher says. “They marinate it in a red chili sauce, which gives it that distinctive color, and they cook these up and serve them and call them tacos al pastor.”

Even the term “al pastor,” which means “in the style of the shepherd,” is a nod to the original Middle Eastern lamb version of the dish.

When Mexico’s economy boomed after World War II, tacos al pastor moved from small towns to bigger cities and eventually into the US.

The fact that this classic dish was a relatively recent import from the Middle East doesn’t necessarily make it any less Mexican, adds Pilcher, the taco historian. “Authenticity isn’t always something that dates back to the ancient Aztecs and Mayas,” he says. “That meaning of Mexico is continually being recreated in every generation.”

But whether it’s lamb or pork, tortilla or pita, Jerusalem or Portland, the essentials have remained the same: Fat and fire, a handful of spices, a quick meal —  and a taste of tradition.


Source: https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-05-07/thank-ottoman-empire-taco-youre-eating

Photography: Daniel Estrin, Randy Howards, Joanne Rathe

Foodie Quotes #71

“In a time when it is common for chefs to simply reproduce the innovations of others, the few who speak for themselves through their food become the skilled artists of their time.”
– Charlie Trotter

The Escapist’s Getaway™: The Wonders of Miyajima

The ancient island of Miyajima has more to it than just its legendary stature.

Miyajima 4

Prologue

Miyajima was once untouched by warfare for around one millennium before the Sengoku period in the 16th century. Records showed that the construction of Itsukushima Shrine here dated since as far as the 6th century and completed like its current form by Taira no Kiyomori in 12th century.

It was not until the year was 1555 when the clan of Mouri, once considered only a small clan in Chugoku, challenged the usurper Sue Harukata of the powerful Ouchi Clan of northern Kyushu.

Taunted, Sue Harukata commanded his full army to engage the Mouri and they’re deliberately led to this island. Wily as a fox, Mouri Motonari as the patriarch of Mouri at that time, ambushed Harukata and decisively defeated his powerful army.

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The victory elevated the Mouri to prominence in west Japan afterwards. Despite the eventual victory of the rivaling Tokugawa Clan and the end of Sengoku period, the pride stayed within the hearts of the people in the region and will eventually spark the ultimate transformation from feudalism era to Japanese hegemony in the 19th century industrial era.

With or without knowing the history behind it, Miyajima was the very source of this awakening – started with the victory of the Mouri clan and the eventual Meiji Restoration. In a peaceful era like now, the island welcomes thousands of visitors each year with its natural beauty, rich culture, and stories from the olden times.

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The trip

Summarizing my one day trip to Miyajima, I can now conclude one important thing should you wish to visit the island. And that is to head there early from Hiroshima to spend the whole day here enjoying all the attractions, or even spend a night if possible.

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There are many ways to head here from Hiroshima. If you feel like arriving early at Hatsukaichi to board the ferry, it’s best to start from JR Hiroshima Station by using JR Sanyo Line or if you are planning to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park first – you can use the streetcar from Genbaku Dome for cheaper but longer travel time. Alternatively, there are buses available as well heading to Hatsukaichi or you can even use the high speed boat from Hiroshima Port for JPY 1,800 and head straight to Miyajima.

The ferry trip from Hatsukaichi to Miyajima came with a very considerate price. It took only JPY 360 for a round trip, but bear in mind that the service stops at 5pm. That’s exactly the reason if you wish to spend only a day at Miyajima, then it is best to arrive early. However, if you would like to spend a night – there are more than 25 hotels available, scattering all over the island.

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The short ferry trip was a memorable one as you can witness the legendary Itsukushima torii or the giant orange gateway of the shrine. Later today, visitors can witness the magnificent view of it when the rising tide came, covering some parts of the torii.

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Arriving, it’s best to head straight to Miyajima-cho, the only town in the island and spend some time shopping souvenirs or having your meals. Miyajima is known for its conger eel rice bowl and oysters. I had my terrific all-about-oysters lunch set menu at Kaki-ya and spent additional dime trying Marukin Honpo’s conger eel buns. Another what to do at the town is to shop at Yamadaya for their famed momiji manju and even taking a hands-on class on how to bake these sweet delicacies.

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The distance was a short one from the town to the shrine and I particularly enjoyed my autumn beach walk, funnily accompanied by these inquisitive wild deers attracted with the food I brought. Alternatively, some rickshaws are also available at your disposal, ready to take you anywhere around the island and a blanket to keep you warm.

As expected, the very view of it took my breath away. It was like a dream come true, that this beautiful cultural heritage that I had seen in many pictures since my childhood finally can be witnessed firsthand. Particularly, it reminds me of my father’s travels to Japan in the 80s and that I can finally relive his moments here. I wonder if anyone else there shared the same thoughts as well.

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However, the trip is not considered complete without visiting the shrine as well. For an additional entrance fee, you can spend some time inside and seeing the priests praying and passing you by, marveling upon the architecture, seeing the torii from here, and even encountering newlyweds wearing beautiful traditional garments. It’s like a journey through time again here, realizing that it was like this back in the medieval times almost a thousand years ago which you can still experience it today.

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Alas, it was almost time to leave the island already. Nevertheless, I fully maximized that fleeting moment by having a good cuppa at the island’s famous coffee shops – Miyajima Itsuki Coffee and Sarasvati, while also passing by the Five Storied Pagoda and reserving my dreams to hop aboard the ropeway to Mount Misen and enjoying Miyajima from above.

Welcoming Madrid Fusion Manila 2017 in April

In keeping with the Department of Tourism’s ongoing goal to establish the Philippines as a center of gastronomy in Asia, it is hosting the 3rd Madrid Fusión Manila on April 6-8, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center. In addition to promoting tourism, the event aims to create an awareness and demand for various agricultural and food products/ingredients, and catalyze trade and business partnerships in tourism and gastronomy.

With Filipino cuisine cited as one of top food trends in 2017 by publications like New York Times and Bloomberg, Madrid Fusión Manila is poised to once again draw the world’s top chefs and food enthusiasts. This year’s theme, “Towards a Sustainable Gastronomic Planet,” will explore how to transform gastronomy while respecting environmental limits and enhancing cultural traditions.

The event will have three main components:
(1) International Gastronomy Congress
(2) Fusión Manila International Gastronomy Expo
(3) the month-long Flavors of the Philippines calendar of events

The International Gastronomy Congress will be a platform for innovation to discuss the future of food. Speakers include some of the world’s best chefs like:

  • Paco Pérez of the 2 Michelin Star restaurants Miramar and Enoteca (both in Spain) and 1 Michelin Star restaurant 5-Cinco (Germany)
  • Jordi Roca & Alejandra Rivas of the 3 Michelin Star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, No. 2 World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 (Spain)
  • Régis Marcon of the 3 Michelin Star restaurant Régis and Jacques Marcon (France) 2
  • Pedro Subijana of the 3 Michelin Stars and 4 Repsol Suns restaurant Akelarre (Spain)
  • Gert de Mangeleer of the 3 Michelin Star restaurant Hertog Jan (Belgium)
  • Simon Rogan of the 3 Michelin Star restaurant L’Enclume and 1 Michelin Star restaurant Fera at Claridge’s (United Kingdom)
  • Akrame Benallal of Akrame, 2 Michelin Star restaurant (France) and 1 Michelin Star restaurant (Hong Kong)
  • Magnus Ek of the 2 Michelin Star restaurant Oaxen Krog & Slip (Sweden)
  • Julien Royer of the 2 Michelin Star restaurant Odette (Singapore)
  • Kamilla Seidler & Michelangelo Cestari of the 1 Michelin Star restaurant Gustu (Bolivia)
  • Rodrigo de la Calle of the 1 Michelin Star restaurant El Invernadero (Spain)
  • Tatiana & Katia Levha of La Servan restaurant (France), included in the Condé Nast Traveler’s 10 Young Chefs to Watch in 2016
  • Sally Camacho Mueller, runner up in the second season of Top Chef, Just Desserts (USA)
  • Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery restaurant (Philippines)
  • Robby Goco of Green Pastures restaurant and Filipino pioneer in slow food movement and sustainable dining experience (Philippines)
  • Gene Gonzalez of Café Ysabel restaurant, the only Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee in culinary arts (Philippines)

The Fusión Manila International Gastronomy Expo will showcase gourmet food and beverage products, ingredients, technologies, creative tableware, destination and lifestyle settings, and services. In keeping with the theme, the expo will also feature culinary tourism. B2B meetings will be arranged for interested expo exhibitors.

Celebrated annually in Madrid since 2003, Madrid Fusión is considered one of the leading gastronomy gatherings in the world.