Tag Archives: Food

Poem – Cotton Candy for the Soul

The world is rushing, the world is stress, and it makes us lose the joy of the simple things. But it is those simple things that make our souls stronger and healthier. There is nothing more refreshing like taking a walk in the afternoon while only thinking of the beautiful colors of the flowers, or the song of the birds. The hectic world makes us grow too dull and we let ourselves be beaten forgetting that our souls need laugher, music, and sweeties.


The poem topic was proposed by

The Salty Avocado


A poem in the shape of: aBB AAb

I give you

Cotton Candy for the Soul

By Adriana

 

You are not so grey,

but the life around you is monochrome

And every passing day is dull monotone.

 

But the sun shines in each colourful ray,

And the flowers bloom without dismay

How pretty the’ve grown.

 

You are not so silent

But the voices around you are resentful

And of kindness they are often forgetful,

 

But the sounds of nature are so vibrant

And the birds sing in melodic alignment.

Listen and be grateful.

 

You are not so sour

But your soul need some sweet caramel

And some cotton candy from the festival.

 

Let’s go to the fair and forget the hour

Enjoying the sun even if the rain showers

Take a break amenable.

 

Listen the laughter

Couples in love and joyous children playing,

Parents smiling, even though they are paying,

 

I see you grinning, it is not so bad a disaster.

even your eyes will be smiling a little after,

Forgetting the crying.

 

Should we skate,

Ferries wheel or an exciting roller coaster ride?

Don’t worry or be scared, I am here by your side.

 

Adventuring eyes have always been your trait,

It is worrying when instead they are full of hate,

And look like you’ve cried.

 

No, you are not so gray

But your soul needs laughter, colors and melody

And don’t forget about sweet pleasant remedy.

 

Caramel popcorn, ice cream or sweeties buffet,

Maybe cotton candy while walking along the quay,

What a great amenity!

 


Thank you for reading!

 

My dear follower,  I hope that my poem you enjoyed

Weather it filled your heart with sorrow or perhaps joy.

My only desire is that my hands of poems never rest

So, I dare you to put my talent to the test.

To one single rule you have, though to abide

Challenge me with a single word for me to comply!!! 

 

 

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Guatemalan Tamale, to enjoy and be jolly

A delicious delicacy from my country that I am dying to introduce to you.

You can a dish called “Tamale” (rhymes with “Bali”) in almost all countries in Latin America. But it is more traditional in the area of Mesoamerica, that is Mexico to Costa Rica. However, each country has its own speciality and they are all different in their own way.

Over all, it is masa made from maize, filled with mysterious ingredients and wrapped and steamed in a special leaf.

If you have been in a Chinese-speaking country, like Taiwan, you can think about it as a ZongZi (粽子) or Rice Dumplings. You know! the one eaten mostly for the dragon boat festival. If you are not so sure about this festival, maybe you want to check out my post about the Dragon Boat in Tainan.

Zongzi to the left, Tamale to the right

The main difference between the Zongzi and Tamale, besides the obvious shape is that the ZongZi is made from rice and not masa.

Masa Made from Maize

Masa is the Spanish word for dough, but if I straightly write “dough”, you might think that Tamales are made of wheat flour. The dough for tamales is made from corn, but not the yellow corn, it is made from the white one. We usually use the word “corn” to refer to the yellow one and the “maize” to the white one.

This was a simple explanation, but let me give you some interesting details. The flour made form the white corn is called “Nixtamal”. This word is in “Nahuatl”, a local language, and it is formed from the words Nextli, meaning “ashes” and Tamalli which means “uncooked corn dough”.

Mysterious Ingredients

I say “mysterious”, because it depends on the ingredients to determine the kind of tamale.

The traditional Guatemala Tamale only has recado (thick tomato sauce) with chicken or pork meat….. maybe olives, but actually adding any other ingredient would stop it from being really traditional. However, in other countries they do add other vegetables and they are also delicious.

Traditional Guatemala Tamale

You can eat a tamale at anytime, but on Saturday evenings tamale-selling-places  get a red lantern out to indicate they have tamales for sale. Another traditional time to have this delicious food is for Christmas. However, because of the amount of time it takes to make them, we do not usually make them at home, which means that at the beginning of December we go crazy making our tamales order with the person who, to our opinion, makes the tastier tamales of all. Tamales make the perfect combination for our traditional Christmas day. And this year will be the first time in 9 years, that I will have tamales for Christmas again, I am so excited for this.

The Special Leaf

The mixed dough and the ingredients are wrapped in banana leaf and steamed until ready. But do not worry, you do not have to eat the leaf, this would be hard to do, and I guess not very tasty. However, tamales are traditionally presented still with their leaf, and it has to be nicely tucked in.

Variations

In Guatemala there is a large variety of tamales, the difference mostly depends on the ingredients and size.

Small

Tamales blancos (White tamales): Made only with the dough and wrapped in corn leaf.

Tamalitos de Chipilin (Small tamales of Chipilin): Also wrapped in corn leaf, but the dough is mixed with chipilin. This is a leaf that grows mostly in Guatemala and Honduras. These are one of my favorite types of tamales and I love to eat them with with cheese.

Tamalitos de Elote (corn tamales): The dough of these ones is made from the yellow corn, and they are a little sweet.

Medium

Chuchitos (no translation): They have a bell shape and they are made only with the dough and thick tomato sauce. I love to have these as an afternoon snack.

Big ones

Tamal Negro (Black Tamale): They are sweet. Some sugar is added to the dough and instead of vegetables, purnes and raisins are used. But even though they are sweet, they are still made with chicken.

Paches (no translation): These are the sames as tamales, but instead of the corn dough, potatoe is used.


Wow… writing so much about tamales made me hungry, but thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my article.

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POP PIE a great place to try!

Not to be confused with Popeye, the spinach eating guy in the cartoon!


 

In a mood for a light meal?

Well, Tainan has many beautiful hidden places to eat, and this has to be one of the most hidden ones. But make sure not to miss it, since it has great pies and a magical atmosphere.

Here is the location:

The place is cosy and well decorated, check it out!

Ok, so it is time to order!

You are usually required to order a set, it includes a soup and a well dressed salad. Check out the nice detail of giving you a wooden spoon!

The soup I got is pumpkin and the pie I order is mushroom and chicken.  It was a great combination and they were both of great taste. I absolutely recommend this place to change the daily routine of the traditional lunch boxes in Taiwan.

The coffee I ordered is a Vienna cafe, it was good, but nothing extra-ordinary. But overall I liked it!

They also offer green tea. Just as the coffee it was good, not nothing too memorable.

So conclusion, the drinks are just ok, but the pies are delicious, it is a place worth giving a try.

SunShower rating:

4.5/5


Thank you for reading! 

Don’t forget to subscribe for more ratings and information on other places in Tainan.

Bordeaux – Baron de Lanezac

Bordeaux – French -2015

The only way to get better at wine, is sharing and discussing it with other people, better if they are close friends and extra points if you know them for 8 years, since you first came to Taiwan.

If you have been reading the blog, you maybe have notice that I am developing a fascination for Bordeaux wines. And this one was shared with my friend Sebs, who has a great taste for wines.

The first thing we noticed was the deep dark colour and not aggressive smell. We noticed some orange hue, and little raspberry, but not many other layers.

He then proceeded to show me about “the legs” of the wine. When you take a sip and put back the glass, the wine will slowly flow back down on the walls of the glass, forming the legs. This has nothing to do with the quality, but more with the consistency. Sweeter wines will be more viscous, forming thicker legs, while wines with higher content of alcohol will form more legs.

This is a new way of understanding wine. So, it is possible to know how sweet or how strong a wine will be, without even tasting it.

Thank you for you for showing me, Sebs!

Now, when tasting the wine, we had some differences in opinions, here is the ratings.

Fruitiness : 3.4 / 5 (Sebs: 2.8 / 5)
Sourness: 3.6 (Sebs: 2.4 / 5)
Tannin: 3.1/ 5 (agree)

Style : Light Medium
Body : 4/10

Legs: Thin

[Note: Fruitiness, sourness and tannin, are a red wine characteristics, they do not define the quality of a wine]

Found in: Carrefour

Overall SunShower rating is:

3.2 /5

Rating levels:

4.7 – 5.0 The finest of all!
4.0 – 4.6 Oh this is good!
3.1 – 3.9 This ok! Pleasant. But don’t be demanding.
2.3 – 3.0 Ok, this is weird.
1.0 – 2.2 Don’t try this, I already sacrificed myself for you.
0.0 – 0.9 Cannot believe there is something this disgusting.

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


Thanks for reading!

Here! Have you heard of white Bordeaux? try this one! 

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Bordeaux Superior – Champ de Fleur

Bordeaux- France 2012

This wine is double special for me, I tried it for the first time with my good friend GG, but at that time I couldn’t rate it. Then I had it for the second time with Wine Expert Oscar.

Both times, it gave a great time sharing with friends. Strong enough to make its self noticeable, but light enough to be comfortable.  The age of the wine probably helped in being so pleasant, 2012 is not too old, but older than most other Bordeaux, we have here.

Fruitiness : 3.0 / 5

Sourness : 2.8 / 5

Tannin: 3.8 / 5

Style : Medium

Body: 5/10

[Note: Fruitiness, sourness and tannin, are a red wine characteristics, they do not define the quality of a wine]

Found in: Simple Mart

Overall SunShower rating is:

3,7 /5

Rating levels:

4.7 – 5.0 The finest of all!
4.0 – 4.6 Oh this is good!
3.1 – 3.9 This ok! Pleasant. But don’t be demanding.
2.3 – 3.0 Ok, this is weird.
1.0 – 2.2 Don’t try this, I already sacrificed myself for you.
0.0 – 0.9 Cannot believe there is something this disgusting.

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


Thanks for reading!

Here is another good Bordeaux for you to try.

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For the best in town, the Arful Dodger’s deserves a crown 

I am rating this awesome place because it is one of my favourites, but it is not necessary to state how good it is, because everybody already knows that this place is incredible. I just want to let more people know what they are missing if they haven’t tried it. Although it is very easy to find physically and online, since it has already been rated and talked about in many other web pages. But perhaps you just came to Tainan and just don’t know where to go for a great meal. Here, let me introduce to you the Artful Dodgers.

It is promoted like an English bar/restaurant, but the truth is they not only serve fish-and-chips but western style food. You know, a little bit of Latin American food (like quesadillas), a little bit of North American food (burgers), Mediterranean food (like Greek salad, one of my favourites), and of course, European (meat pies, exquisite English breakfast, and one of the best pasta in town).

Parmesan Chicken

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Quesadilla
Besides their spectacular regular menu, they also have specials, varying from roast beef, to curry and other special dishes.  The place is truly awesome. Personally I love to get brunch here, as the atmosphere makes feel more like in Europe than in Taiwan. And the service is also very good, the staff always receive you with a welcoming gesture, either in English or in Chinese

But my favourite time to go is Friday night, it is lady’s night and we girls get discount on drinks, plus an absolutely delicious truffle.

Their drinks menu is also a good reason to go, great variety of beer, cocktails and wine.  If you have wandered in the wine section of this blog, you will be able to find their red Cabernet Sauvignon and the newly added Pinot Grigio. 

No matter the time of the day, I just simply love to go there with my friends and share together a wonderful time.

Now, let me tell you a little anecdote… When I first discovered this place, I noticed that my male friends took unexpected long time in the bathroom, but, of course, it would not have been polite to ask. One day, one of my friends came out staring at a picture in his phone and then enthusiastically showed us. We felt a little awkward, but then it all became clear.  There is a Titanic poster with details about the ship, take a look:

If you are in Tainan and feel like a wonderful none-Asian meal, here is your place to go.

Variety: 5/5

Taste:5/5

Drinks: 4/5

Atmosphere: 4/5

Service: 4/5

The SunShower rating is 

4.8/5

And if you are wondering how to get there, here is the location:

It’s open every day except on Tuesdays.

 

They have recently made some udgrades, I am eager to go check it out!!! 

 


 

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White Bordeaux – Moelleux 

And there I was thinking that Bordeaux was only a reference to Red Wine.

This post is special, because it two of my most wonderful French friends made the honorable selection. They did warned me that it would be really sweet, but I was confident as I have tried many moscatos. I though they were going to be similar. I was wrong!

They are totally different. The white Bordeaux was an incredible surprise, as it was so sweet that that there was basically no sourness to taste and yet different layers of fruits could be tasted.

I personally do not like wines that are too sweet, but this was an comfortable encounter.

Fruitiness: 3.8/5

Sourness: 2.0/5

Sweetness : 4.2/5

Style : Light

Body: 4/10

Found in: Carrefour

[Note: Fruitiness, sourness and Sweetness, are a white wine characteristics, they do not define the quality of a wine]

The overall SunShower rating is

3.6/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


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Bordeaux – Puisseguin Saint-Emilion

Bordeaux! What a blessing for the world of wine! And, this one was particularly outstanding, as it was carefully chosen by my favourite French friends. It was a lovely movie night!

This wine felt soft and shy but at the same time rather elegant. It felt refined, as its smell was pleasant and not aggressive at all. It was or dark ruby red and well layered.

Personally, I really enjoy how French people are into the Bordeaux wines, and the magical thing is that they never dissapoint me. I can’t wait to get another recomendarion from you guys!

Fruitiness: 4.0 /5

Sourness : 4.0 /5

Tannin: 3.0 /5

Style: Medium

Body :4 /10

Year: 2014

[Note: Fruitiness, sourness and tannin, are a red wine characteristics, they do not define the quality of a wine]

Found in: Carrefour

Overall SunShower rating is:

4.0 /5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


Thanks for reading!

Want to check out another pleasant Bordeaux, try this one 

Don’t forget to subscribe and give a nice like! 

 

 

Merlot-Long Country

Playful! That is the perfect word to describe this wine. And it is exactly how it makes you feel.

As a merlot, it is low in Tannin, which is a characteristic feature, but I would have expected it to be more layered. It is a two year old wine, and it was too flat, perhaps if it is aged for longer time.

Either way, it is a great choice to share with friends and spend a great time.

Fruitiness: 3.5/5

Sourness : 3.6/5

Tannin: 3.2/5

Style: Light-Medium

Body :4/10

[Note: Fruitiness, sourness and tannin, are a red wine characteristics, they do not define the quality of a wine]

Found in: Carrefour

Overall SunShower rating is:

3.9/5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs


Thanks for reading! 

Don’t forget to Follow me and give a delicious like in this post.

 

 

Globalization has come to Tainan’s Night Markets.

Aren’t night markets just amazing? It the first thing you gotta do when you visit a city in Taiwan! You can eat, drink, shop and even play some fair games.

They are crowded and noisy but at the same time lively and fun. One can never leave the night market with an empty stomach or a frown. And they are one of the things that throughout the years that I have lived in Taiwan, they never changed. Sure some of the store aren’t there any more and there are new ones instead, but the culture of the night market never changed.

As amazing as the can be, there was always one tiny thing that is slightly annoying. It is really bad when you first come to Taiwan, and then, with time one learns to accept the reality, and that is, vendors are not going to speak English. Off all the stores, maybe just around 10% of them have English menu, and the for rest you just gotta use your ability of sight and smell to know what they are selling. This is not such a terrible thing, since it works most of the times, but also it happens very often that one can misjudge a certain food. This could be disgusting or tragic, disgusting becase perhaps something you though was going to be delicious isn’t, and tragic because you restrain yourself from eating something you might actually really enjoy.

But guess what? Tainan is changing!!!

A few weeks back we were invited to an activity. It was supposed to be a foreigners friendly night. We were told that they were going to take us to the night market and give us some money to spend there. Well, it is a free ride and free money, so let’s go. What we didn’t know is that the best was yet to come!!!

 

It was not only the foreigners friendly night, but the beginning of a new era for Tainan night markets. As it turn out the Tainan’s city government, with the support of STUST (Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology ) organized a program where students help night market vendors to translate their menu into English. The students get to practice their English while contributing to society and the vendors get their menus in English for free.

Sadly some of the vendors refused to take part of this initiative indicating that they do not need it. In some cases it is because they already had English menus. Either the case, from now on, the foreigner friendly stores will have a flag indicating the English service.

 

This service is only found in Tadong Night Market (Open on Monday, Tuesday and Friday), WuSheng Night Market (Open on Wednesday) and the Flower Garden Night Market (Open on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday)

Congratulations and thanks are in orders to the organizers of this service.

I am personally proud and deeply happy to see this happening.

Just like this Tainan, this beautiful city, is taking part of the inevitable globalization.


Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed  my article.

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