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#FindingAsia: Mochitsuki at the Midwest Buddhist Temple, Chicago

#FindingAsia: Mochitsuki at the Midwest Buddhist Temple

Mochi (餅), which is a sweet sticky rice cake, has been eaten in Japan since ancient times for special celebrations and festivals. The practice of hand-pounding mochi, known as mochitsuki (餅つき), is now rare even in Japan as most people would rather buy machine-made mochi sold at stores instead of making their own. Yet still, whether store-bought or home-made, the ... Read More »

A Foodie’s Guide to Niçoise Cuisine

A Foodie's Guide to Niçoise Cuisine

Of course the French Riviera is known for its beaches and yacht clubs, but it’s also a dream destination for foodies! Walking through the narrow streets of Nice, it seemed every other shop was a cafe or a market selling local products. With four days to spend in Nice we actually didn’t do much, we just ate a lot. And boy ... Read More »

Hospitality, History, and Hats at The Baker House

Hospitality, History, and Hats at The Baker House

After spending the afternoon taking a boat tour around the grand Lake Geneva waterfront, we were a bit cold and more than ready for dinner. Walking down the scenic shoreline, we arrived at the historic Baker House. Originally built in 1885 as a summer home for Mrs. Robert Hall Baker, this Nationally Registered Historic Property has served several purposes throughout ... Read More »

The German Who Didn’t Like Beer

The German Who Didn't Like Beer

After living in Asia for nearly three years, I had gotten used to the fact that I would never fit in. No matter how I dressed or how many cute accessories I piled onto my cellphone, I would always be a gaijin (外人), a gweilo (鬼佬), a foreigner. Even as my travels moved me westward, I still couldn’t pass for ... Read More »

8 Must-Try Dutch Foods

8 Must-Try Dutch Foods

Before heading to the Netherlands, I knew absolutely nothing about Dutch food. There’s not very much written about it and I actually had never given much thought as to what they’d eat there. Since leaving the Netherlands, all I want to eat is Dutch food. I was quite surprised to find that their most of their food was light and ... Read More »

Sake to Me: The Art of Drinking Sake

Sake to Me: The Art of Drinking Sake

Sake (酒; pronounced “sah-keh” not “sock-ee”) is a drink that has been made in Japan for thousands of years. It is relatively unknown in the US, although a few varieties are starting to pop up in some restaurants and groceries stories. All across Japan there are sake breweries, dozens of different brands, and sake festivals. And again, most regions have ... Read More »

Famous Regional Omiyage Across Japan

Famous Regional Omiyage Across Japan

A few months ago I talked about omiyage in Japan. A lot of people seemed intrigued about this aspect of Japanese culture so I thought I’d talk more about famous omiyage throughout the different regions of the country. If you don’t remember what an omiyage is, it’s like an obligatory souvenir that you bring back to give others, but yet, ... Read More »

Sensory Overload at Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant

Sensory Overload at Tokyo's Robot Restaurant

Rushing through the streets of the Kabukicho, I kept glancing at the time on my phone. I had a bad feeling that we were going to be late. Blindly winding through the small alleyways, I had begun to regret my decision of not writing down directions. At this point, we could only hope that we were headed the right way. ... Read More »

An Insider’s Guide to the Taste of Chicago

An Insider's Guide to the Taste of Chicago

One of my favorite things about living in Chicago is that come summertime, it becomes festival heaven. On any given week there are at least three festivals going on somewhere around the city, but none can compare to the Taste of Chicago. Being from Chicago, this is one event I always make sure to attend when I’m back at home. ... Read More »

A Taste of Chicago…in Hong Kong

A Taste of Chicago...in Hong Kong

After being born and raised in Chicago, it wasn’t until I left nearly two years ago that I truly began to appreciate, and even miss, the city I once called home. When I was living there, I rarely thought about what a great city it was. It has great food, great architecture, and always some festival or another going on ... Read More »