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The motley food lovers from left to right: Chloe, Jello, Winnie, Elena, Winston, Jeffrey, David & Kelly

Written by Daniel Otero

Photo is a courtesy of Winnie Chen


A motley crews’ tastes, experiences & flavours:

Memories in food

Written by: Winnie Chen, Jello Dong, Elena Gomzyakova, David Huang, Jeffrey Huo, Winston Wen, Kelly Xu & Chloe Ye

In collaboration with: Daniel Otero

Take eight-human beings, bring them together and voila! You can have the best food elements united in a novel way and across the world over.

What do eight individuals bring with this writing? The taste of ‘Surf and Turf’ to desire and continuously dream over. There’s more, from meats to sweets. In an extravaganza of flavours; which can sometimes become part of the local or international culture.

But not only in this area of Hong Kong and Guangdong; however, throughout the entirety of China and abroad.

Minds to bring home their culinary experiences in a taste and fashion-foods for the soul!

Nothing is more dynamic when people come together and bond for these tasty experiences. What better way to enjoy than through the palate. Conquering with their seasoning gusto the platters which we all want and desire. Therefore, what better way to huddle at the table than through the taste of food. Because and only then, there is a culinary experience for all. Something which this article desires to give its readers through the wonders of food and sharing!


Winnie’s experience on the great taste of Soup

Nearly every meal I have had in my life and so on, includes soup. I love different types of soup, both Western and Chinese.

Borscht, Clam-chowder, Double-stewed soup, Hangzhou duck soup and so forth.

Photo is a courtesy of Winnie Chen

However, my favourite is not from any country’s traditional food. It is a crab soup from my grandma. We cook it with crabs, potatoes, bamboo shoots, carrots and a little flour. Yummy! The flour makes the taste become a bit thick. Bamboo-shoot makes the soup salty, so nearly every taste you have is from food itself. When I drink soup first, I can feel a combination of elements come together. Wow, what a pungent aroma in the mouth!

The soup will make you feel like swimming in the sea, but you will soon get into the bamboo forest and smell the fresh air.

Except for just drinking soup itself, I would mix it with rice. There would bring out the yellow and red colors in my bowl; soft potato and carrots makes the rice not so long or boring for me. This is suitable for the elderly and babies. After finishing all of it, I would use my hands to open crabs. Crabs’ meat is soft and juicy. It makes me feel like being back in my hometown.


Jeffrey’s lobster extravaganza

I clearly remembered the amazing feeling lobster gave my tongue, it was difficult to describe those feelings for tasting this kind of shellfish.

Photo is a courtesy of David Huang

I am big lobster fan.

In Beijing’s hidden quarters, it has a very famous street where people cook a wide diversity of lobsters, with rich mixture of tastes. One dish is called, “spicy lobster”; it is my favorite one and I must order it every time. And above all, the lobsters are not expensive for someone. If your pockets are almost empty and you want a decadent meal. The lobster absolutely won’t let you down, when you take a bite at its flavorful body, you will rapidly fall in love with its great taste; which is the crispy-meat mixed with chilli sauce!

I really suggest, if you can go there and eat it. You will be fascinated with this wonderful and unique taste shock; which will complete whatever in your life is missing!

Photo is a courtesy of David Huang


Elena’s love for sushi, yeah baby!

I love sushi. I can have sushi for the whole day and I will not get sick or tired of it. There are different kinds of sushi and rolls, and I don’t think I have a favourite. I love most of these kinds of food, except for the really strange ones: for example, with an egg.

Photo is courtesy of Elena Gomzyakova

Sushi with salmon is amazing. The fresh red piece of sashimi on top of the soft rice. Ah, ah, ah, ah, just lovely! It tells you it will taste great just by its look. You have to eat this one with wasabi!

There’s tuna sushi. The tuna salad on top of the rice tastes like it was all meant to be together. It’s sweet but salty, also juicy, a taste hard to explain if you never tried tuna, but if you have–you will know.

Little tiny crab-stick and cucumber rolls are the cutest. It all taste so fresh, and also there is not too much, because it’s half the size of a normal sushi. You can have one in just a bite.

Now, there’s California rolls. These are absolutely beautiful. The rice is dotted with some caviar, and inside there is a piece of fresh and juicy cucumber, as well as: some carrot, avocado and a piece of crab stick.

It looks like god’s food, and tastes like heaven too.

Photo is a courtesy of Elena Gomzyakova

Is there anything that could possibly be more tasty than sushi? I don’t think so!


Jello’s & Winton’s desires for the Sichuanese dish, hotpot

Hotpot is a very traditional food of China.

Our favorite food is also hotpot. This in fact is a kind of food from Chongqing, China. We love this variety of food very much.

Photo is a courtesy of Jello Dong

We can sit with our families together and make what we want in the pot.

The method in making a hotpot is quite easy, but different people have different appetites and styles.

If you like spicy, the red-oil pot will be good for you! The pot is made with a high concentration of sweet-smelling red oil, full with red chili and Sichuan pepper. Incredible, talk about the blast of flavours! The whole pot is like a volcanic fire! By the way, you can choose your favorite sauce. Putting some beef into the pot, waiting for 8 seconds when the soup is boiling. Then, mixing the beef with your sauce, the taste is just wonderful! A great sense of heat strikes your mouth, and you can feel like you are the ‘god of fire’!

Photo is a courtesy of Winston Wen

Also, a person is free to add as many ingredients as he or she wants. Such as: meat, vegetables and seafood…

Jello interjects, stating, “I prefer meat! Then, I can add all the meat. Can add mutton, pork, beef and so on. Just put it in the pan. You can eat it immediately after it is cooked. It’s just perfect!”

Hotpot is such a delicious and tasty food! Thank goodness for Western China’s cuisine!

We highly recommend it to foreigners or people who have not eaten hotpot to try the it! You’re gonna love it. Because you’ll remember it for the rest of your life!


Kelly knows dumplings

This portion of the article is going to introduce another food, and I for one love dumplings. It is my favourite food and therefore, it is the tastiest.

Dumplings is a Chinese traditional food. Its Chinese name is “jiaozi”. In China, for thousands of years people would eat dumplings during Spring Festival. It means good wishes and luck. Furthermore, dumplings shaped like a gold or silver ingot are used as money for thousands of years. Dumplings also means reunion. Dumpling is not only a food or the representative of Chinese cuisine. Every part of it contains the Chinese national culture, flavour and spirit. Therefore, it is the soul of China.

It is not only a necessary food for every family at ordinary times, but also a necessary food for the thirtieth night, expressing people’s yearning and appeal for a better life.

Photo is a courtesy of Elena Gomzyakova

There is a interesting way to eat dumplings. During Spring Festival, the wives will make dumplings by themselves. Usually, they will put one coin in a dumpling and put it together with other normal dumplings. Others don’t know which one is special until they eat it. It is funny and interesting. For those who eat this unique one, it means in the future year they will have the best of luck. Although, we know it doesn’t have any physical meaning, but people still long for it. Now, would you want to try it?


Chloe goes gaga over Italian mozzarella cheese

I have a crush on MOZZARELLA CHEESE!!! If you break down the phrase ‘dessert is a girl’s second stomach’, my favorite dessert is cheese. Cheese, also known as a fermented dairy product. It is mostly used in Western food production, but it is also the traditional food of the nomadic peoples in Northwestern China.

Sometimes, it’s strange to like something, and you don’t know why; but there is a kind of inexplicable emotion–I like cheese. Maybe from the moment I saw Rachel and Chandler going crazy for cheesecake on the T.V. show Friends. From this point, I fell in love with New York Cheese Cake! I was ‘head over heels’ by cheese. I love everything to do with cheese: cheese crackers, cheese ramen, cheese heart cakes… I once bought and tasted all the cheese things in my favorite bakery. Super, right? What is not to love about cheese?

The most wonderful thing about cheese is, its wire-drawing skill. Mozzarella cheese can perform the wire-drawing skill, sprinkle it on the food and spoon it after baking! The golden silk can be pulled for a long time, and the taste is soft and elastic.


Photo is a courtesy of David Huang

David’s love for doughnuts takes him from China to sunny California (USA)

It was a sunny afternoon, going down the streets of Rowland Heights, a greenish looking logo to my right caught my attention, called Krispy Kreme.

I thought, “Yeah baby, come to papa!”

I was pulled in on automatic, ‘attracted’ to these things. It didn’t matter the amount of cops (ha, ha, excuse the stereotype), the sugar or the caloric intake!

Then, it was there at that moment, I knew I was in heaven! Right when I stepped into the shop and my eyes were just glued to the doughnuts behind the glass windows. They were just so gorgeous, there were so many different colours of them, such as: black, brown, white, pink, even multiple colours mixed up together.

The tastes of the doughnuts are just as wonderful as it appears. Taking the first bite of it is just like having the taste of a medium-rare filet steak. It literally melts in your mouth. And the sweetness afterward is making so you cannot tear yourself away from it. A precaution for those of you that have not eaten doughnuts ever before. Eating doughnuts is basically like taking drugs. There is no way for you to stop your addiction after the first try!

Well, there is a good saying by me to describe these as, “Such ‘beauty’, therefore, cannot be ‘owned’ without sacrifices!”

In conclusion, with this ‘motley crew’s’ desires for these tasting experiences… Based on their young lives, as they get started to live and go forward for another five decades or more; I can easily suggest that they are all on the fast track to enjoy a life of great flavours. Therefore, this can never be called an end, but just a beginning.

Photo is a courtesy of David Huang

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.