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How to Use Chopsticks

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How To Use Chopsticks
Will you eat a sandwich with a spoon or use a fork to have an ice cream? No? Why? Because every food, to taste better, must be consumed using the right vessels and cutlery! Same is the case with Chinese and Japanese foods which seem to taste better when eaten with chopsticks. The origin of chopsticks can be dated back to China, around 3000 to 5000 years ago. Widely used in Japan, China, Korea and Vietnam to eat all kinds of foods, most of the chopsticks are made of bamboo while some are also made of ivory, plastic, silver and jade. They are considered as extensions of the fingers and are considered much better than spoons and forks in their usage. Although the respective Asian communities use chopsticks as effortlessly and naturally as Europeans use forks, it doesn’t really come that easily for the rest of us. Despite the fact that most of the world thinks of them as impossible feats, chopsticks actually provides your hands with a physical affinity with the food — something that our quintessential spoons, forks and knives can never boast of. Having said that, we also acknowledge that eating with chopsticks could require some training and hence the next section that talks about how to use chopsticks.
Eating With Chopsticks * Clasp one chopstick between your thumb and middle finger. The chopstick must be in such a position that it is placed at the base of your thumb and at the lower joint of the middle finger. While the bottom chopstick remains intact, the upper chopstick moves to grasp the food. This chopstick should not touch your forefinger. * Keep the other chopstick between your forefingers and thumb in such a way that the side of the chopstick rests against the tip of the thumb. The top portion of the chopstick must rest against the pad of the forefinger. * Ensure that the tip of the chopsticks lay parallel to each other. * Place the first chopstick in a stationary position as you practice moving the second chopstick towards the first one. * Pick the second chopstick and position it on the top, firmly between the tips of the thumb, middle fingers and index finger. * While eating, remember to keep the bottom chopstick fixed and pick up the food using the top chopstick. * Use the same technique to position the chopsticks around a piece of food. * To pick up the food, straighten your index and middle fingers as much as required and move the top chopstick outward. Grab the food and you can bring the chopsticks together by curling your middle and index fingers. The basic idea here is to use the chopstick as a pivot with the thumb being the axle. * Lift the food by leaning over, if required. * For foods with bones such as chicken, hold the food, using a chopstick around the bone. * Ensure that you have a steady grip while holding the chopsticks. You can check it by making sure that it does not glide around or move in your hand while you make an attempt to pick up food. * Practice by opening and closing the chopsticks. They should not make an ‘X’ while you open and close them. Rather, both must slightly touch each other at the ends. * Pick up the food at a 45 degree angle or an angle which is comfortable to you.
Things To Remember While Using Chopsticks * If possible, use wood or bamboo chopsticks as plastic chopsticks are pretty greasy and harder to hold. * Always hold the chopsticks in the middle and ensure that the ends are even and do not cross. * Chopsticks are traditionally held in the right hand only, even by the left-handed. But nowadays, chopsticks are found in either hand though some consider holding chopstick in left-hand as improper. * The chopsticks must be held towards their end, not in the middle or in the front. * Remember not to stick chopsticks into your food, especially into rice. This is done only at funerals when rice is put onto the altar. * Do not spear your food using chopsticks. * In order to separate a piece of food into two, give controlled pressure on the chopsticks and move them apart from each other. This requires some practice. In the case of larger foods such as tempura, you need to pick up the entire piece using a chopstick and take a bite. * If you have already eaten and used your chopsticks, use the opposite end to take food from a shared plate. * If the table settings include chopsticks and serving spoons, use them instead of using your set. * If you are holding chopsticks in one hand, ensure not to pick the bowl without putting the sticks down. * Make sure that once you are done with your meal, place the chopsticks back in the paper wrap in which they came and fold up the remaining paper over. This is an indication that they are already used and makes it easier for someone to dispose it without grabbing it with their uncovered hands. * Always remember to not use chopsticks for cutting the food materials into smaller bites. If you do not have knife, you can cut the bigger pieces into smaller ones by pressing the larger piece between the two chopsticks and tearing it in two.
In case you thought that chopsticks weren’t a big deal, you should know that poems have been written about them. Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have also used the basic concept behind chopstick to design the Mars Rock Corer. Various researches were conducted in countries like China, regarding the usefulness of chopsticks in helping kids improve their memory and being an aid to children in learning to write Chinese. Chopsticks, more than being a medium to have food, reflect the culinary culture of China and Japan.

CHINESE COOKING METHODS

Chinese cooking has over 2,000 years of history. Even though there are so many schools and regional cuisines, the methods are basically the same.

There are 7 major methods. Some of them are very similar to or the same as the western style ones. Some are very different in which I will try to explain to you with a very easy way by relating them to the closest methods that you had heard before.

These 7 mthods are pan-sear, stir-fry, poach/boil/blanch, deep-fry, "mun" (similar to slow cook), "tun" (close to steaming in the oven, but not) and steam.

1. Pan-Sear

You may or may not know that Chinese use wok in cooking, although some of them use regular skillets like we use nowadays due to the influence of the western culture.

Pan-sear is like how we sear the food on the regular skillets, not only to lock the juice in the meat, but also to create a crispy surface. One of the most popular dishes is the pan-seared fish and topped with a sweet and sour sauce. Due to the shape of the wok, there is advantage and disadvantage at the same time with this cooking method.

Like fish, the meat is thicker in the middle which is at the hottest spot of the wok. So, it creates even cooking time thoroughly.

The disadvantage is if we apply this method on other meat, such as pork, chicken, beef and so forth, it may not get the same result as above, except the thickness of the meat is distributed like the fish.

2. Stir-Fry

Who doesn't like Chinese stir-fry? Due to the shape of the wok, stir-fried dish is almost like finish cooking within a snap, especially in the restaurants kitches. The reason of its efficiency is because the shape of the wok keeps the heat inside. Can you name some of your favorite Chinese stir-fried dishes? Like stir-fried noodles with vegetables, seafood or chicken. I believe you can name a few of them easy from your favorite list.

3. Poach/Boil/Blanch

This process is very common in the western style cooking. In the west, blanching vegetables is very common. So, is the Chinese.

Poaching meat is close to the Chinese meat boiling. But the difference is the meat is always sliced very thin and cooked less than 2 minutes. Then, the boiled meat is always served with the dipping sauce, such as soy sauce, chili oil or the combinations of several sauces and herbs.

A Peking style hot pot boils the thinly sliced lamb in this way. Before anything starts, a full tray of sauces and herbs is put in front of the table (there are at least 12 different kinds for you to choose from). Depends on your preference, you will mix all/some of these sauces and/or herbs together for dipping later.

We also use this method of pre-cook some chunky meat. My family are crazy for chicken wings. My mom has so many ways of cook the tasty and delicious wings. But the first step is always putting the wings into a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Then, drain the water and rinse the wings under the running tap water for a couple minutes before doing the rest of the cooking in another pot of sauce. This way, this will get rid of the extra fat, dirt and maybe the frozen food taste out of the wings. Try it next time and you will be amazed how great the result comes out.

4. Deep-Fry

Do you always think that Chinese food is either stir-fried or deep-fried? Is it because most of the dishes served in your restaurant, such as sweet and sour pork, General Tso chicken and so forth, like that?

Deep-fried dishes are commonly seen during the Chinese New Year. But Chinese also take the advantage of this cooking method to fasten the cooking time and enhance the favor or texture of certain dishes.

One of the best examples is "Yu Heung Eggplant". First, deep-fry the eggplant for a few minutes before stir-fry it with the rest of the ingredients to quicken the cooking process and enhance the texture of the eggplant so that it won't be "mushy".

5. "Mun" (similar to slow cook)

This is a very, very old Chinese cooking method. The cooking utensil is a pottery pot and cook on top of the fire, not any electric or glass stove top. When we use the slow cooker to cook a one-pot meal, maximum cooking time is 8 hours. But definitely it will not be more than 10 hours.

If we use this traditional Chinese cooking method, the cooking time ranges from a few hours to a month. One traditional Chinese dish is abalone. It usually takes about 2-3 days to cook. Another one is the pork hock in Chinese ginger sweet vinegar which takes a month of cooking.

6. "Tun" (close to steaming in the oven, but not)

This method is usually used in cooking Chinese medicine or some dishes that always help to neutralize the "poison" in your body. It starts with putting in all the ingredients and water into a china container with the lid on. Fill the wok with about 1 1/2" - 2" deep of water and bring it to a boil. Put the steamer into the wok which allows the china container to stand above the boiling water. Cover the wok and let it cook several hours.

As more and more people became health conscious nowadays, a machine was invented about 5 years ago that you don't need to keep your eyes on the boiling water in the wok. You can put in the china container into this machine and set the timer to cook. When I went back to Hong Kong earlier this year (Feb 2009), I found one called "Purple Clay Steaming & Stewing Mug". The name may sound a bit confusing. But if you understand it works like the cooking method mentioned here, you will love it.

Some of the dishes cooked with this method, "tun", can be served as dessert or soup which is always treated a very healthy way of cooking.

7. Steam

This is the method that Chinese use most of the time. Yes....I said most of the time. Traditional Chinese actually are not big on deep-fried or greasy food, but something very light. If you think about any Chinese that came across in your life, have you ever met any of them is overweight? Maybe not or just a few. It is all because of their light diet in steam cooking. If you are thinking of losing weight and able to give up the crunchy and crispy topping, this may be the diet you want to follow.

An example of using this method is the Chinese steamed fish.

Hong Kong Dining
Hong Kong may well be considered the lap of luxury for the gourmet and the gourmand alike. Look no further than Causeway Bay, Lan Kwai Fong, Soho and Stanley, and wander the winding streets of Kowloon for a taste of traditional Chinese and local Cantonese cuisine. This is a land of plenty, where no appetite need go unsatisfied. Not only is Hong Kong the Culinary Capital of Asia but also a place where you can dine in style with incredible views, overlooking the harbor, or savor the joy of Hong Kong signature dishes and regional Chinese delicacies while gazing at the stunning skyline. You'll love all that Hong Kong cooks up.

Drinking Tea (Yum Cha) and Dim Sum

Drinking tea (Yum Cha in Cantonese) is an integral part of Hong Kong's culinary culture. A cup of steaming fresh tea is the perfect complement to many sumptuous dishes or dim sum. As any tea lover will tell you, the traditional drink, whether Chinese, English or Hong Kong-style, sends forth its unique, delicate fragrances to help shape daily life in Hong Kong.
Dim Sum is just a part of the Yum Cha tradition. The tradition is about companionship and drinking tea rather than eating. No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without trying dim sum. These are delightful, mouth-watering Chinese snacks served in steaming bamboo baskets and eaten with pots and pots of Chinese tea for breakfast or lunch. Steamed pork buns, shrimp dumplings, beef balls and pan-fried squid with spicy salt are just some of the local favorites. Visit when you're not too hungry and sample a few Dim Sum instead of filling up on everything that looks good. Relax, take your time, and soak in the ambiance.
Sea food in Hong Kong

Sea food is great in Hong Kong and you should not miss it. Tanks of live seafood like fish, lobster, prawns, crab, geoduck, clams, scallops, oysters vie for attention. Cooking fresh, live seafood is a culinary art in Hong Kong, where skilled Cantonese chefs will make your mouth water for the distinctive flavours and incredible taste of seafood dishes.

There are 4 famous places for waterfront seafood dining - Sai Kung, Lei Yue Mun, and the islands of Lamma and Cheung Chau. So don't miss the chance to dip in the lively atmosphere of dining in the open air, enjoy the sea wind and and savour a gourmet meal - this is sure to be one of the highlights of your visit.
Local Food and Snacks

Hong Kong has a world of exquisite, mouth-watering international dining options. As you would expect, good Chinese restaurants are found everywhere in Hong Kong. Some of the best can be found in major hotels and shopping complexes. And you can find the traditional Chiu Chow food and Chinese-style desserts and also stands for snacks along the street.
International Cuisine

As an international city, many cultures and tastes are represented in Hong Kong's world of dining. Enjoy five-star haute cuisine, fast- food, snacks or casual family-style meals in some of Hong Kong's Eastern and Western restaurants. Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian and Filipino restaurants make for a pleasant change from Chinese food, as do Japanese sushi bars and fine restaurants. The Western culinary traditions are well represented with American, French, Italian, Mediterranean and other cuisines for those with a penchant for western fare or Mexican makes for a spicy alternative.

Hong Kong Information
Hong Kong, one of the most popular travel destinations in Asia, has always been the centre of curiosity among the tourists, who are always on the hunt for the information about the exotic place. Here is concise information about Hong Kong every curious visitor would like to know.

Geography
Hong Kong lies in eastern Asia, on the south coast of the People's Republic of China. Total area of Hong Kong is 2916 sq km. Land area is 1060 sq km while the water area is 1004 sq km.

Hong Kong is hilly landscape divide into four main areas. These are
» Hong Kong Island
» Kowloon
» New Territories
» Outlying Islands

People
The population of Hongkong is approximately 6.4 million, giving it the status of one of the most densely populated places in the world. Population density in the urban areas of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon is over 25,000 people per sq km, while in New Territories, it is only 2860.

Climate
Located on the coastline, Hong Kong's climate is sub-tropical. Hong Kong's average climate makes it a year-round travel destination. However, best time to visit Hong Kong is during autumn and winter seasons since the air is dry and cool at this time. Spring | March to May | Summer | June to Mid September | Autumn | Mid September to Mid December | Winter | Mid December to February |

Languages
Approximate 95 per cent of the population of Hong Kong is Chinese. The fact pronounces that Chinese is the language of ordinary people in Hong Kong. It has also been granted the status of official language in Hongkong with English. Most people connected to service industries can speak English.

5 Chinese eating habits explained http://www.cnngo.com/shanghai/eat/5-chinese-eating-habits-explained-311204 1. Do not rest chopsticks vertically in rice
While it may minimize the transition time between the voracious gobbling of food and intermittent sipping of a Tsingtao or cup of cha, stowing chopsticks in this way is neither prudent nor polite.
Meaning: It’s a harbinger of death.
Just as the number four, si (四), is considered inauspicious for its homophonous relation to the word si (死), meaning death, the sight of two upright chopsticks in a bowl is reminiscent of the incense sticks that the Chinese traditionally burn in veneration of deceased loved ones.
2. Never turn over the fish
In Chinese restaurants, the standard is for a fish to be served whole.
After working your way through the tender top side, it may seem logical to simply flip the fish and continue. Unfortunately, doing so has an unforeseen consequence.
Meaning: You’ve capsized the boat.
According to Lo, this is of more concern in regions that rely strongly on fishing or are located along the coast.
“The fish symbolizes the boat,” he explains. By turning it over, you’re casting the hapless fishermen into Davy Jones’ locker.
But you don’t have to resign yourself to picking and prodding.
Using your chopsticks, pick up the backbone at a point near the tail and gently pull upward until you’ve dislodged the bone from the meat beneath. Then simply slide the “boat” to the side of the plate, and continue eating.
3. Birthday noodles
Chinese tradition calls for a birthday girl or boy to slurp a bowl of noodles as a celebration of the many years ahead. And as “Lady and the Tramp” so aptly demonstrated, that one long noodle can be a great thing.
Meaning: It symbolizes longevity.
In this case, that long strip of noodle is a metaphor for the long walk of life. Yet this tradition comes with an addendum: do not cut the noodles.
“That symbolizes cutting your life off,” says Lo. It's not a very positive message on the day of one’s birth.
Thankfully, cutting applies mainly to severing with a knife or with chopsticks. Biting is a practical and, Lo says, acceptable way of ensuring you don't look like a hamster with filled cheek pouches.
“You should slurp your noodles,” Lo adds. “That means it tastes good. It’s like swishing wine in your mouth so that it mixes with oxygen -- it’s the same idea.”
4. Tea tapping is a must
A tea cup should never be allowed to run dry.
Your host, or members of your dinner party, will regularly refill the cups of those around them, who tap the table in response. Go ahead and follow suit.
Meaning: It’s a show of thanks.
According to legend, there was once an emperor who regularly impersonated a commoner in order to get acquainted with his people.
One night, while at a teahouse, the emperor poured tea for his accompanying servant.
“Traditionally, the servant would have kneeled down to show respect, but that would have betrayed the emperor’s identity,” explains Lo. “So he tapped the table instead.”
Two fingers, two knees.
“There’s a stronger tea-drinking culture in southeast China,” says Lo, adding that the habit may be more prevalent in Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Regardless, saying “thank you” is just as permissible, so don’t fret if this custom isn’t second nature to you.
5. Always order an even number of dishes
When out with a sizable crowd, you want to ensure you order enough food. A rule of thumb is to order dishes equivalent to the number of people in your party, plus one. But if you’re an even-numbered crowd, this will put you at odds -- in numbers and in fortune.
Meaning: Odd number of dishes symbolizes death (again).
“For regular meals, you’d always order an even number of dishes, because an odd number is usually only ordered at a funeral meal,” says Lo.
This has nothing to do with homonyms, but rather with qi.
According to Chinese belief, odd numbers are associated with yin qi rather than yang. In the yin-yang equation of balance, yin is cold, yang is hot -- dark and light, death and life, respectively.
Lo adds a qualifier: “This applies more to banquets and formal events, and is mostly related to the first-round order. You can add dishes as you need them afterward.”
Thankfully, Lo assures us that in informal settings among friends, no one’s likely to be counting

40 HONG KONG FOODS http://www.cnngo.com/hong-kong/none/40-things-eat-hong-kong-coronary-arrest-820489 Hong Kongers have a passion reserved just for Hong Kong food that eclipses their love for politics, shopping, gambling, and even -- gasp -- stocks. This city is home to some of the most food-obsessed people in the world and produces an alarming array of food items ranging from the stubbornly traditional to unself-conscious fusion foods, each more drool-worthy than the next. Here are a selection of 40 Hong Kong foods that make us rather not live than live without:
1. Hong Kong-style French toast
Unlike its more restrained Sunday brunch counterpart, Hong Kong-style French toast is for when you're stressed out and looking for a warm, deep-fried hug. It's two pieces of toast slathered with peanut butter or kaya jam, soaked in egg batter, fried in butter and served with still more butter and lots of syrup. Too much of this will send you to an early grave, but it's the perfect comfort-food combination of simple flavours and textures: sweet and savoury, soft and crispy.
Try it at Lan Fong Yuen, 6 Gage Street, Central, tel +852 2850 8683.
2. Scrambled egg sandwich
On paper, an egg sandwich doesn't sound very noteworthy. After all, it's just fried egg in between two pieces of soft white bread. No big deal, right? Ah, but that would ignore the genius of a good Hong Kong line cook, who can somehow turn an egg into a fluffy, finely-layered gem of stomach-warming goodness. A classic egg sandwich should be plump, full of eggy flavour and light, not greasy.
Most people swear by the Australia Dairy Company, 47 Parkes Street, Jordan, tel +852 2730 1356, Australia Dairy Company Appreciation Group Facebook page, but our favourite is the Kwong Sing Café, 10 San Shing Avenue, Sheung Shui, tel +852 2670 4501.
3. Stinky tofu
No doubt you will have heard or read about the stench emanating from one of the strangest foods to come out of this part of the world. But nothing can really prepare you for the stink. Smelly tofu, like durian, is one of Asia's most iconic 'weird foods.' The stench is a result of fermentation of the tofu and it is such an overpowering smell you'll be hard-pressed to shake it off for months to come. But Hong Kongers really love that stink. Well, most Hong Kongers.
Follow your nose to Delicious Food, shop 10, G/F, 30-32 Nullah Road, Prince Edward, tel +852 2142 7468.
4. Hong Kong style-cheeseburgers
Dirt-cheap, kitschy and consistently delicious, Denmark Cake Shop’s Hong Kong-style cheeseburgers are reminiscent of the good old days pre-McD domination. The rundown eatery’s HK$9 burgers don’t fit the burger archetype, but it’s just as good, if not better: it’s palm-sized, minimalist (ketchup, home-made mayo, half a slice of processed cheese) and is encased in a slightly sweet Hong Kong-style butter roll. The patty is heavily seasoned and moist, attracting lines of schoolchildren since the shop opened in 1972. Denmark Cake Shop, G/F, 106 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, tel +852 2576 7353.
5. Sweet tofu soup
Sweet tofu soup is one of those deceptively simple dishes whose potential for satisfaction far outweighs the complexity of its ingredients. One of the best places to try it is Kin Hing, a lean-to stall in the countryside of Lamma Island that is run by an elderly couple who serves nothing but 'dau fu faa'. It's smooth and soft, doused in a lightly sweet syrup and sprinkled with yellow sugar; the sharp sweetness of the sugar complements the musty soya flavour of the tofu.
To get there, walk from Yung Shue Wan towards Hung Shing Yeh "Powerplant" Beach.
6. 'Pineapple' bun
The boh loh baau (literally meaning 'pineapple bun') is the holy grail of what may generously be termed the Hong Kong school of baking. It's firm on the outside, soft on the inside and topped by crunchy, sugary pastry. Popular enough to have been exported around the world -- step into a Chinese bakery in Toronto, Taipei or Tianjin and you're likely to find one -- it's ubiquitous in Hong Kong. It's the perfect complement to milk tea, especially if you have it with butter, a variation known as boh loh yaau.
Try it at two Mongkok cafés that are known for their buns: Kam Wah, 47 Bute Street, Mongkok, tel +852 2392 6830 and Hong Lin, 143 Tung Choi Street, Mongkok, tel +852 2391 8398.

7. Chicken feet
So it looks awful, but once you get over that, what is there not to love about chicken feet? Just like head cheese or coq au vin, Cantonese-style chicken feet is a perfect marriage of thrift and culinary genius. Euphemized as 'phoenix talons' in Chinese, the chicken feet are typically deep fried then stewed in a blackbean sauce. The cartilage softens to a melt-in-the-mouth consistency and great practice is needed to spit out the little bones in that dainty manner perfected by grandmas in dim sum restaurants across town. Lei Garden skips the deep-frying and stews their chicken feet in abalone sauce, resulting in a wholesome, more texturized treat.
Multiple locations, see website for details www.leigarden.hk.
8. Miniature wife cakes
As much as we love traditional Chinese pastries, their heavy combination of lard and sweet pastes made from various beans and roots don't exactly make for easy snacking. Luckily, Hang Heung has come up with a solution to that problem: miniature wife cakes. Wife cakes have a flaky skin made from pork lard and a firm, chewy filling made with almond paste and winter melon. The combination of the pastry and mellow winter melon sweetness makes them particularly tasty, while their bite size makes them particularly digestible.
Hang Heung, 64 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long, tel +852 2479 2141
9. Ginger milk curd
Spicy, creamy, soupy -- this is wintertime dessert at its best (though it's good in the summer too). Made by gently simmering sweetened milk and then mixing it with fresh ginger juice, which causes the milk to curdle, 'geung tsap dun nai' has a soft pudding-like texture not unlike tofu. The local branches of Macau's Yee Shun Milk Company make a mean version of this timeless Cantonese treat.
Yee Shun, 506 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, tel +852 2591 1837, and various other locations.
10. Five-layer roast pork
A great piece of 'siu yuk' should have a top layer of crackling skin, then alternating slivers of fat with moist meat, and a final salty-spiced layer at the bottom. Euphemised as 'five-layer meat,' the morsels are served with sharp yellow mustard to cap off an overwhelming experience of textures and flavors all rendered from a humble slice of pork belly.
Lei Garden's siu yuk hits the spot every time. Multiple location, see website for details www.leigarden.hk.
11. Indonesian satay
When they're brought to your table on a miniature charcoal grill, the Shatin Inn's fatty, tender satay skewers sizzle in a very satisfying way. But it's the experience of eating them outdoors in a time-warp restaurant that makes them especially worthwhile. The Inn is a roadside restaurant that dates back to the days when going to Shatin meant a big journey over the mountains and out to the country. Though it's now surrounded by roads, it retains a homey, rural atmosphere.
The Shatin Inn, 7.5 Miles, Tai Po Road, Tai Wai, tel +852 2691 1425.
12. Meat mountain
Steamed meat cake -- a mishmash of ground pork, mushrooms, water chestnuts and preserved vegetables, seasoned with simple soy sauce and sesame oil -- is a staple of Cantonese home cooking. At Man Seng, the staple is transformed into something more remarkable: a veritable meat mountain. With feats of culinary magic known only to the cooks (don't bother asking for details -- trade secret), the half-foot-high pile of meat is somehow tender, succulent and evenly cooked.
Man Seng, 16 Wun Sha Street, Tai Hang, tel +852 2576 7272.
13. Cantonese preserved sausage
Some Chinese sausages can be heavy on the salt and spices, but Cantonese laap cheung is a perfectly well-proportioned mix of slightly-sweet pork fat and meat. Rose water and rice wine gives it a pungent edge and soy sauce serves as a salty counterpart to the sweetness. Cook it with rice, vegetables, eggs or just about anything.
Freshly-dried lap cheung are available in the winter at Wo Hing Preserved Meat, 368 Queens Road Central, Sheung Wan, tel +852 2546 8958. Frozen-foods specialist DCH (various locations) carries tasty Canadian lap cheung all year round. Or just drop into any of the stores that have sausages on display on Sheung Wan's 'dried seafood street.'
14. Trendy hot pot
Hot pot is truly a social event for people in Hong Kong, especially for families looking for an excuse to get together on a chilly winter's night. And as a true testament to the innovation and picky palates of Hong Kongers, there's no shortage of new things to try. Megan's Kitchen is one of the latest trend-setting hot pot restaurants famous for their rainbow meatballs in different flavours and colors, where the surprise is inside, like Kinder eggs. Our favorite is Megan's pork balls with a mango centre. Soup base is another divisive issue at the dinner table: from a simple vegetable base to congee and soymilk base to Megan's tom yum koong “cappuccino” soup base.
Megan’s Kitchen, 5/F, Lok Kei Centre, 165-171 Wan Chai Road, Wan Chai, tel +852 2866 8305, www.meganskitchen.com.
15. Beef brisket
The brisket is a much maligned part of the cow in Western cooking, but you'll find huge chunks of it being slowly stewed in giant pots of sauce in noodle shop windows all over Hong Kong until they're tender and soaked with juicy goodness. Few of these places however, can live up to the reputation of Kau Kee, which sells its signature beef brisket cooked in either a clear broth or curry broth served with noodles. Or try On Lee in Shau Kei Wan on your day off -- the good stuff typically sells out by late afternoon.
Kau Kee, G/F, 21 Gough Street, Sheung Wan, tel +852 2850 5967.
On Lee, Shop 4, G/F, Tung Wong House, 14-22 Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan, tel +852 2560 6897.
16. Egg tart
Like many classic Hong Kong dishes, the origins of the egg tart are a bit murky, but it seems likely that they are yet another example of British tea time snacks -- custard tarts, in this case -- that were adapted to local Chinese tastes. Since they became popular in the 1940s, two varieties of egg tarts have emerged: one with a flaky puff pasty shell and another with a sweet shortbread crust. Both are filled with a rich custard that is much eggier and less creamy than English custard tarts or Portuguese pastéis de nata.
Try the shortbread version at Tai Cheong Bakery, 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, tel +852 2544 3475, www.taicheongbakery.com and the flaky kind at Honolulu Coffee Shop, 176 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel +852 2575 1823, or bump into Chow Yun Fat at his favorite egg tart joint Hoover Cake Shop, 136 Nga Tsin Wai Road, Kowloon City, tel +852 2382 0383.
17. Yung Kee's roast goose
Yung Kee has been around since the 1940s when it was a mere food stall near the ferry pier and has since grown to be the authority on Hong Kong roast goose. Today, nine out of 10 people will recommend friends visiting Hong Kong to have a meal at Yung Kee for their 'siu ngoh.' The restaurant will even specially pack their goose as carry-on luggage for departing travelers. It isn't the cheapest by a long way and some may say that the most authentic roast duck is still to be found deep in the New Territories, but its an institution not to be missed. If you're so inclined, try the equally famous thousand-year egg with ginger, which is so reputable, other restaurants buy from Yung Kee to serve to their own customers.
Yung Kee Restaurant, 32 Wellington Street, Central, tel +852 2522 1624 www.yungkee.com.hk
18. Thai food in Kowloon City
Kowloon City was once home to no man's land Kowloon Walled City but these days it is better known as a food mecca. Some of the best food in Hong Kong is found here, particularly Thai food. A small Thai community makes up Kowloon City's 'Little Thailand,' a proliferation of Thai restaurants, supermarkets and hole-in-the-wall noodle and satay joints. A lot of the Thai food you find in Hong Kong is overpriced and friendly to expat-palates -- go for the real thing in Kowloon City.
We like Best of Thai Food Restaurant, 37 Fuk Lo Tsun Road, Kowloon City, tel +852 2127 7348.
19. Roast pigeon
Pigeons are usually dismissed as rats with wings, but believe us, rats don't taste this good. Cantonese-style pigeon is typically braised in soy sauce, rice wine and star anise before being roasted to crispy perfection. It's an earthy, deeply satisfying dish -- the Hong Kong answer to Peking duck.
Nostalgic dive Tai Ping Koon, 19 Mau Lam Street, Yau Ma Tei, tel +852 2384 1703, various other locations, is known for its pigeon, and so are the restaurants in Tai Wai, including the reliable Shui Wah, 51 Tsuen Nam Road, Tai Wai, tel +852 2606 7117.
20. Snake soup
Snake soup is said to cure any number of ailments. Forget about that. The real reason to indulge in this Cantonese delicacy is because it's the perfect dish for cool weather. There's something about the brothy mix of snake meat, mushrooms, ginger and pork that does an even better job of warming you up than chicken noodle soup. The soup is usually served with fried bits of dough, slivers of kaffir lime leaf and chrysanthemum petals for aroma. And yes, snake really does taste like chicken.
Give it a go at Se Wong Yan, 80A, Woosung Street, Jordan, no phone.
21. Lotus seed paste
Here's a lesson in making a silk purse out of a sow's ear: Take some dried lotus seeds -- those hard, pale, dime-sized bullets of little flavor -- soak, stew, grind to a paste, pass through cheesecloth, add sugar. Then comes the tricky stage. Dry-cook the sweetened paste in a huge wok, teasing out the nutty, caramelly flavors without burning it. When done right, the fruit of the exhausting labor is rich, velvety lotus seed paste that can be stuffed in fluffy white buns. We love the paste stuffed in Lin Heung's buns with a nub of salty egg yolk.
Lin Heung Tea House, 160-164 Wellington Street, Central, tel +852 2544 4556, www.linheung.com.
22. Typhoon-shelter crab
Hong Kong's typhoon shelters used to harbor a community of 'boat people' who made their homes on sampans. Out of the community rose a distinct culinary culture that centered on freshly caught seafood served with plenty of spices and 'wok hei' -- good wok-wielding skills. Little remains of Hong Kong's boat people today but their excellent food culture is ever popular, in particular, the spicy crabs served at Under the Bridge heaped with fried garlic and chilli peppers.
Under the Bridge Spicy Crab, Shop 6-9, G/F, 429 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, tel +852 2573 7698, www.underspicycrab.com.
23. Egg noodles
A quality egg noodle depends on its egg flavor and al dente texture. Egg noodles don't get much better than at Ho To Tai Noodle Shop, which has been in business for over six decades. Our favorite is the shrimp roe-covered noodles served with a bowl of fish soup. Salty shrimp roe is generously sprinkled all over strips of noodles that have just the right amount of elasticity and egginess. Ho To Tai's wontons are also reputable and made to the size of a dollar-coin, as is the tradition.
Ho To Tai Noodle Shop, No.67, Fau Tsoi St, Yuen Long; tel +852 2476 2495, htt.com.hk.
24. Milk tea
It's colonialism in a cup. You could argue that afternoon tea is the single most pervasive legacy of British rule, enjoyed as it is by Hong Kongers from all walks of life, and milk tea is the most potent symbol of English traditions fused with Chinese sensibilities. Top-notch milk tea is made with a special blend of black Ceylon tea that is strained through silk stockings and mixed with evaporated milk. A good cup is bitter, full-bodied and velvety smooth.
Connoisseurs swear by the tea at Kam Fung, 41 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai, tel +852 2572 0526, Lan Fong Yuen's takeaway stall, 2 Gage Street, Central, tel +852 2544 3895 and 'Milk Tea King' Tai Fat Restaurant, shop 5, G/F, Treasure Court, Hong Shui Kiu, Yuen Long, tel +852 2443 5533.
25. Joy Hing's cha siu
In this town, Joy Hing is synonymous with 'cha siu' -- Cantonese barbecued pork. Be sure to order 'half fatty, half skinny' cha siu for the best cut: moist, not greasy, honeyed yet smoky.
Joy Hing BBQ Shop, 265-267 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, tel +852 2519 6639, Facebook group.

26. Cha siu baau
Barbecued pork stuffed into a bun deserves its very own shout-out here. Because, when we break open a soft white steamed bun and see the glistening mauve filling of diced cha siu with extra barbecue sauce spilling out and sniff the heady perfume of wine, soy, and hints of caramel, we're moved. North Garden calls theirs 'cha siu mantou,' giving the traditional bun a northern Chinese twist.
North Garden Restaurant, 1-2/F, Tung Ning Building, 249-253 Des Voeux Road, Sheung Wan, tel +852 2739 2338.
27. Claypot rice
For those willing to turn a blind eye on the two-star service and focus on the five-star signature dish, Kwan Kee Claypot Rice is a must-visit. Hardly ever an empty seat, Kwan Kee does rice crustily well using charcoal stoves that are near-extinct in Hong Kong. Whatever toppings you choose, be sure to add some Chinese preserved sausage. All the juices and fat from the meat will drizzle into the rice, adding to its pleasant aroma and taste.
Reservations highly recommended. Kwan Kee Claypot Rice, Shop 1, Wo Yick Mansion, 263 Queen's Road West, Western District, tel +852 2803 7209. 28. North Point mini egg cakes
Crackly on the outside and spongy on the inside, this street-side joint’s mini toasted egg cakes -- called 'gai daan tsai' -- is a clear winner in a city where the snack is just as ubiquitous as potato chips in a convenience store. At North Point Mini Egg Cakes, the eggy batter is toasted to golden-brown perfection and everyone from office workers to housewives crowd around each night for a delicious morsel.
North Point Mini Egg Cakes, 492 King's Road, North Point, +852 2590 9726.
29. Tang Lung Street's Thai shrimp sashimi
Dingy Tang Lung Street may not be known as the most savory place to eat raw crustacean dishes in Hong Kong, but Thai Shing Restaurant’s shrimp sashimi has us returning time and time again with no upset tummies so far. Dished up in a bed of ice and garnished with a slice of raw garlic, the shrimps at Thai Shing are fresh with briny flavors. The chewy delicacy is best eaten dunked in the accompanying chili sauce.
Thai Shing, G/F, Tang Fai Building, 36 Tung Lung Street, Causeway Bay, tel+ 852 2834 2500.
30. Mulberry Mistletoe tea
Traditional Chinese medicine rarely tastes this good. Yuen Kee Dessert‘s Mulberry Mistletoe tea is a delicately sweet Chinese dessert with medicinal qualities, such as reinforcing the kidney and warding off rheumatism. Mulberry Mistletoe tea’s uncluttered flavor has a quiet, nostalgic charm in a city of frantically evolving food trends. Most old-timers at Yuen Kee Dessert like to add boiled lotus seeds to their order and pair the sweet tea with a steamed sponge cake.
Yuen Kee Dessert , G/F, 32 Centre Street, Western District +852 2548 8687.
31. Block 13 Cow Offal
Fatty, richly marinated beef innards are as deeply ingrained in Hong Kong’s street food culture as curry fishballs. And when it comes to skewered cow organ goodness, Block 13's is hard to beat. The eatery’s braised cow offal skewers is a potpourri of contrasting textures, including the chewy honeycomb tripe, springy cow lungs, and tough cow’s intestines. For an extra flavor kick, there’s runny mustard and sweet sauce available at the counter.
Block 13 Cow Offal, G/F, 1 Shu Kuk Street, North Point, tel +852 3575 9299.
32. Congee
It’s the food we crave when we’re sick, cold or missing home. And the deciding factor is texture over flavor. Known for its assortment of fresh fish congee, Sang Kee Congee Shop has customers lining up everyday for its fleecy rice porridge boiled from 2am every morning. Portions are large enough to keep an average, middle-aged man satisfied.
Sang Kee Congee Shop, G/F, 7-9 Burd Street, Sheung Wan, tel +852 2541 1099.
33. Bowl pudding
For those who miss the 1980s when palm-sized puddings steamed in porcelain bowls (buut tsai goh) were widely sold by street hawkers, Kwan Kee Store gives us that taste of childhood we’re craving for. Since 1965, the Fu family from Shunde has been grinding glutinous rice flour by hand to make their signature bowl puddings with white or brown sugar and sometimes red beans. Even chief executive Donald Tsang had to make a special visit for a taste.
Kwan Kee Store, Shop 10, 115-117 Fuk Wah Street, Sham Shui Po, tel +852 2360 0328.
34. Tonkichi's tonkatsu
Hong Kongers are thankful for those crazy Japanese and their crazy dedication to perfecting deep-fried comfort food. Tonkichi is the preferred Japanese restaurant in town for specialising in deep-fried things, from oysters to giant shrimps -- but best of all, pork chops. Aside from making sure the batter is the perfect crunchiness, the meat inside must be juicy and not greasy. Turn up at Tonkichi with a ravenous appetite and be prepared not to get it back for a couple of days after.
There is usually an hour-long wait for a table. Tonkichi Tonkatsu Seafood, 412, Podium 4, World Trade Center, 280 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, tel +852 2577 6617.

35. B Boy's grass jelly
Kei Kee Dessert sells Hong Kong’s most sought after grass jelly dessert: 'B tsai leung fun,' or B Boy's grass jelly. The huge serving of grass jelly topped with plenty of mixed fruit and condensed milk could be a meal on its own. Go with at least three other people or be prepared to pack home your leftovers.
Kei Kee Dessert, Shop 7, Chi Fu Centre, Yuen Long; tel +852 2479 4743, www.yl.hk/b.
36. Mango pudding in mango sauce with extra mango
There's really only one ingredient that matters at Hui Lau Shan: mango. The sweet, ripe fruit, imported from Thailand, finds its way into just about every dish at this dessert chain, which has conquered Hong Kong and spread as far afield as San Francisco. The shop's most representative dish combines a milky mango pudding with thick mango purée, mango ice and generous chunks of mango. Extra sugar is left aside in favour of the fruit's naturally robust sweetness.
Hui Lau Shan, multiple locations, see website for details www.hkhls.com.
37. Sweet and sour pork
No, it isn't just for gwailos. Sweet and sour pork, called 'gu lo yuk,' is also a comfort food craved by Hong Kongers. The Cantonese original is made with vinegar, preserved plums and hawthorn candy for a nearly scarlet color and that sweet-sour tang. Nowadays, it's mostly made with ketchup and coloring.
Sweet and sour pork can be ordered at any respectable Canto restaurant, but we like the consistent quality at Ho Choi Seafood Restaurant, multiple locations, see website for details, www.hochoi.com.
38. Louis' steak
In Hong Kong there is no shortage of Hong Kong-style steakhouses. Most of these colonial-influenced institutions serve soggy meat on hot griddle plates, their texture horribly mangled by baking powder. Louis' Steakhouse has all the nostalgic charms of old-school Hong Kong Western restaurants and none of the bad food. In line with bygone local tastes, their steaks are decidedly more tender than what you find in contemporary Western steakhouses, but is nonetheless juicy and meaty. And you have the bonus of ordering stewed fish maw, another house specialty, alongside your steak. Now that's what we call Hong Kong fusion.
Louis' Steak House, 1/F, Malaysia Building, 50 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, tel +852 2529 8933.
39. Fishballs
According to Wikipedia, which sourced from Apple Daily's 2002 report, Hong Kongers eat about 37.5 million fishballs per day. A simple Google Maps search reveals that for every two 7-Elevens you pass by, you’ll find a shop that specializes in this beloved snack. And if you’re really desperate, even 7-Eleven will sell you some. Everyone has their own favorite fishball joint that they swear by, and our's is Tung Tat for their firmness and intense curry flavor.
Tung Tat Restaurant, G/F, 48 Pitt Street, Yau Ma Tei, tel +852 2332 8376.
40. Swiss chicken wings
The story goes that a foreigner, bowled over by the wings' sweet and salty taste, tried to ask the staff for the name of the 'sweet' dish. The waiter thought he was alluding to the wings' Swiss origins and the name stuck. Swiss sauce, a rich, sweet soy sauce, is now a kitchen standby in many Cantonese homes. Tai Ping Koons' chicken wings in Swiss sauce is still distinctly flavorful, with tender, fall-off-the-bone meat.
Tai Ping Koon Restaurant, 6 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay, tel +852 2576-9161, taipingkoon.com.

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Culture Paper

...In order to be successful in international business one must be knowledgeable in other cultures. This includes knowing cultural beliefs: a set of learned interpretations that form the basis for cultural members to decide what is and what is not logical and correct. Cultural values which is what a culture regards as good or bad, right or wrong, valuable or worthless, appropriate or inappropriate, etc. Cultural norms consist of things such as greeting behaviors, what is considered good manners, and how to gain someone’s attention. And social practices tie it all together, because it is the outward manifestation of beliefs, values and norms; consisting of the typical behavior patterns that individuals of a specific culture follow (Intercultural Communication, n.d.). Italy is an Italian speaking country in south central Europe, it is beautiful not only for its landscape but for its history and culture. Rome has been religious and political center of western civilization as the capital of the Roman Empire. Italy is dubbed as the world’s “living art gallery” because you are always surrounded by magnificent pieces of art. Sculptures and paintings from some of the most brilliant artists in history were made and are found in Italy (World Explorer). Ninety percent of the population in Italy is Roman Catholic; therefore most of the cultural in Italy is based around the Church and the love for art. This could make it very difficult for another culture to feel comfortable in Italy and be...

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