Jodie's journal

After seven years, I finally got used to Kimchi

Korea's wonderful stone pot rice

October, 1999, was our first trip to Seoul. Almost as soon as we got into the city, we noticed the unbearably sour kimchi smell (fermented, pickled cabbage). We were feeling hungry after the flight from Taipei, but everywhere we looked, we couldn't avoid kimchi. Finally, we found a fried rice shop in a food court, so we could have some normal food.

Fried rice - too simple to make

I grew up with fried rice, it's part of our culture. Everywhere you go you see fried rice, every family eats fried rice. It has the same kind of position in the food culture as sandwiches in Western countries.

Selling pizza on Christmas day

On Christmas day 2008, we were invited to sell pizza on an university campus during an event for the students, faculty and their friends.

What is black sugar?

Black sugar is a common ingredient in Asian cooking, but when I show black sugar to my Western guests. They very often ask “is that brown sugar?”

Black sugar is healthier and more tasty than white processed sugar; brown sugar has a few of the benefits of black sugar, but really isn't as good.

It can look quite similar to brown sugar, but black sugar is even darker - almost black. Black sugar is popular in Taiwan. Compared to processed sugar, which has a very flat, characterless taste, black sugar is 'round', with a lot more flavor.

Unlike processed sugar, black sugar contains molasses, plus potassium, iron, calcium and other minerals.

Many Western women like to eat chocolate for comfort during their period, but Japanese women like to eat black sugar. For Taiwanese women, eating black sugar during their period is also a very common custom, probably because Taiwan is a former colony of Japan. They really eat pieces of sugar like it's candy.

Soy milk - home made

In Taiwan, instead of having a cup of coffee, drinking soy milk is the way most people start the day. Breakfast shops serve the milk fresh and hot, and simply flavor it with some sugar.

In Western countries, soy milk is getting very popular. I saw packaged soy milk displayed along with dairy products, for example. There are different flavors, like chocolate, strawberry or vanilla soy milk. It's sometimes called soya milk or soybean milk.

Jake traveled Taiwan 345 kilometers by foot

mountain bridge near Wulu Kaohsiung TaiwanThe slowest journey on the high speed railway

Jake visited me to study in June 2008. He is responsible for very important safety work on Taiwan's 'bullet train', the High Speed Railway (HSR). Most people's trip on the 300 km/h High Speed Rail takes less than 90 minutes. But for Jake, the journey took weeks. He traveled by foot.

Visitors from Washington D.C.

student and jodie                  

Peter and Karen from Washington D.C. came to my class in November 2008. Most of my guests come to Taipei for business trips. But Peter and Karen visited Taipei simply because they wanted to experience the food.

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