The MSG wars

For Christmas Eve 2013, I prepare a simple Austrian Christmas dish – sausages with sauerkraut and potatoes. While I’m in the kitchen looking for the right spices, I find pure MSG hidden behind other spices. I show it to my husband. He gets angry and starts a fight with his dad. They agreed that we […]

Chinese Lantern Festival and “you shouldn’t eat too many Tangyuan when pregnant”

On yesterday’s 元宵节 (Yuánxiāojié), translated as Chinese Lantern Festival, which falls on the first full moon of the Chinese New Year and marks the end of the new year celebrations in China, my company prepares 汤圆 (Tāngyuán), sweet glutinous rice balls filled with sesame paste. It’s tradition to eat Tangyuan, which come in the shape […]

The Chinese grandmother that prevented me from eating raw cucumber salad

One day in the June of 2012 I was sitting in a little restaurant in a mountain village a few hours from Chongqing. The plain white walls were decorated only with a print that showed Mao Zedong in the middle and politicians surrounding him. Although the village was a domestic tourist destination, the restaurant was […]