Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Find: Red Circle Tea blog

Red Circle Tea
Today I discovered something new: a blog entitled, Red Circle Tea: Tea aficianados who travel through Asia.

New to me, anyway. I wish I were a tea aficianado who traveled Asia (and the Himalayas, and, well, anywhere, really). So I have found another source through which to live vicariously. [Edit out self-pitying nonsense here.]

The article that caught my eye is entitled, "The dish not made," about traveling to China and being unable to find bamboo sticks in which a traditional Chinese dish is cooked. The writer (I haven't delved deeply enough into the blog yet to figure out who is who) was told by her Chinese teacher that the Chinese diaspora, when they return home, will often find that their favorite dishes are now difficult or impossible to find, because the cuisine is changing so rapidly. But no bamboo sticks?! I'll let the author tell her story.

“Yes! This is a Chinese dish,very traditional and they serve it all over China, of course, and it’s delicious!”  “You know,” she continued,“ my country changes so fast, from one year to the next.  We don’t have the underground metro, then one day, all of a sudden, we do! And food changes too. Steamed Bamaboo is a common dish, but the Chinese here ,if they were born in China, have been “out”- they have not been back in 10, 20, 30 years, they don’t remember their country’s cuisine. Many were born here. They only know what they learn and eat here, even if they speak Chinese. It doesn’t surprise me you can’t find bamboo. Most people don’t know about it.”
I sipped my tea and reflected on this.  It redefined Chinese American life for me all over again. I imagined American-born Chinese learning about their cultural roots from a distance and how one stays connected to that from across an ocean. Well, I surmised, you do the best you can with what you’ve got.
“Anyhow,” she finished “It’s out of season. Try the spring next year.” And with a start, I realized, so they DO have bamboo sticks! It’s just the wrong season! Haha!