The other day, well, last year, I almost had a heart attack as I was sashaying through my favourite Chinese market.
No, not this market, unfortunately - unlike Sichuan and Hunan provinces, Palma doesn't have enormous outdoor markets selling only various kinds of dried chillies. But the headline is Nostalgia, isn't it? Anyway, I gagged with excitement when I in my Chinese supermarket, only 45 minutes' walk away from my gaff, saw this:
Chinese peanuts with Sichuan peppercorns and chillies! A staple of my almost weekly trips to the Chinese mainland when I lived in Hong Kong. It's difficult to describe a taste, so I won't. Just, you know, heavenly.
That Chinese supermarket! I don't know what I would do without it. They have absolutely everything I need for cooking a proper Chinese meal, and now also peanuts! But the Qingdao ("Tsingtao") beer has gone up from 80 centimos to 1,20 euros since last time I looked, so I'm buying up what I can of rice, noodles and other dried goods so my dinner guests won't have to pay exorbitant prices.
When I lived in Hong Kong I used to cook for parties up to 22 people. Those were the days! Doing the dishes afterwards was brutal, especially since I didn't have hot water in the kitchen, but had to boil and boil all the dish water in an enormous kettle. On the other hand, the water in Hong Kong was so clean I could just let the glasses air dry. Here in Mallorca, I have to dry each individual glass with a dish towel to avoid grey stripes and spots. Calcium!
In Hong Kong I had a rather fantastic roof terrace overlooking the South China Sea, where I also gave cooking lessons.
And now I'm finally getting to the point of this nostalgic article: If you want to try or learn to cook proper Chinese food with the real ingredients, come to meeeee! I'm not very far away, in El Terreno, Palma de Mallorca, where I am eking out my China-less days in exile with only memories of a glorious past.
Only memories, yes, but the food remains!
You don't have to show any fascist papers to come to my house. Your medical history is really none of my business. Just stash a small amount of euros in your pocket and turn up - hungry. And while you're at it - why not take a couple of Cantonese lessons, learn a bit about the Chinese language and how it works? It's fun! And, as an added bonus, is an irritant for the Chinese Communist Party.
Today's Cantonese: 川菜 - Chyuen Choi - Sichuan food