Hello Uncle Foreigner

food

Jul 22, 2018

A peanut butter taste of home

Who is the winner in the battle of the crunchies?

I ordered some peanut butter on Taobao, like you do. And then I ordered some more, and some more. And then what we had was a good old fashioned taste test!

If you’re interested in figuring out the relative nutritional information of each peanut butter — what a good math problem! — then you can find the stats below. (For the points, go comment on the video with your results!)


Skippy (per 2 Tbsp)

  • Source: America
  • Energy: 190 American Calories
  • Protein: 7g
  • Sugars: 3g


Whole Earth (per 100g)

  • Source: UK for Hong Kong Park N Shop
  • Energy: 643 kCal
  • Protein: 27.7g
  • Sugar: 3.8 g


Mother Earth (per 20g)

  • Source: New Zealand for Singapore
  • Energy: 518 kJ
  • Protein: 5.4g
  • Sugar: 1g

Jul 4, 2018

In search of lost noodles ...

Three pillars of 面 to you

Noodles are for-real-deal one of my favorite lunches here in China, and as a genre, it is deep and wide. Here I talk about three of my favorite different kinds of dishes … which madeleine-like, transport me to a different time and place.

Jun 16, 2018

Hot bowl challenge

Foreigner vs. Hot Pot

Hot pot is the real sport of kings. Watch me eat soup. Marvel at the spice.

Jun 4, 2018

Buying fruit and saving the environment

Uncle’s Shorts #15

Luzhou has such wonderful fruit, really all year round. And sometimes the grocery store gets environmentally minded about it.

May 31, 2018

All the caffeine in China

Starbucks comes to Luzhou, three times!

We celebrated the opening of Starbucks in Luzhou by taking a look at their competition in the caffeine game — from the tea house, to the “western” coffee bar, to the local cafe, to the big mermaid chain herself.

I’ll stand by what I said about cutesy cafes featuring “fake-kitsch” decor. (Can kitsch be face? I submit that if you order it from a warehouse, then, yes.) But the fact of the matter is that Mango, the local cafe we featured, is actually cool. We chose it because we genuinely like going there. And it’s close to our house.

But, in researching this story, I found out that Mango is not decorated via internet, but, in fact, was designed by a big ol’ Chengdu architecture firm. You can even read a review of the architecture on this blog, hosted by a Hungarian interior design company. Luzhou, it’s a city on the rise!

May 30, 2018

Prettying up a Pizza for YOU

Uncle’s Shorts #12

Luzhou’s pizza options have really improved over the past year and a half. We have an actual Italian restaurant, now, with a chef trained by Italian people. But, for delivery, the easiest is Pizza4You. It’s perfect in every way … except there’s no tomato sauce. I used to put on sriracha sauce, but now our grocery store regularly stocks marinara (and siciliana, and basilica …), so I use that.

And, while we’re at it, why not sprinkle on a little more oregano and basil. And some of that shaker cheese. And pop it back in the oven. And … this take-out pizza is a lot of work, actually. But it’s worth it for a slice.

May 12, 2018

Hey Drinks are the best drinks

Uncle’s Shorts #7

Who doesn’t love a smoothie? Especially when it’s delivered right to your door.

Meituan Waimai forever!

Apr 30, 2018

Eating around the world

Drink Up Luzhou: Pilot episode

We first had the idea for “Drink Up Luzhou” almost two years ago. We had just moved back to Luzhou, and decided that our Chinese hometown was something worth doing a project on. The kind of podcast-y/talk show format of getting a bunch of friends together over a meal to discuss a topic seemed doable enough, with just enough action that there would be reason enough to film it. We had our camera, an iPad and a field recorder, and we were sure that we could make something great.

Well, actually executing the pilot … this was a much bigger job than we anticipated. For one thing, filming on location at a restaurant is as tricky as they say. Peter had to edit around a lot of interruptions, and the sound quality — even with our Zoom H4n! — was spotty at best. There’s a reason they filmed in an empty restaurant on “Dinner for Five.” The other big lesson we learned was that we can do it just the two of us, but an extra crew member, or five, would really help. It was hard for me to run camera-two and host the discussion at the same time, and a lighting and a sound tech would boost our quality a lot. Additionally, a script supervisor would have been invaluable to the transition between production and post.

But, I’m pretty proud of the job we did without those things. For the time being, we’re going to have to keep on doing it without those things. It’s an exciting challenge, and Peter and I are really looking forward to season one. I hope that you are, too.

Apr 17, 2018

What’s in a Chinese school lunch?

I don’t always know, but it’s free for me!

These days, about twice a week, I get food from the kindergarten cafeteria. I could take lunch every day, but two out of five is good enough for me. I like it because it’s healthy and free! I eat what the babies eat; tomorrow we’re having pork and pumpkin, with a tofu soup on the side. It’s usually decent, I think, though Peter turns his nose up at it. It’s comparable, anyway, with the Tianfu Middle School cafeteria food.

I have a two-and-a-half hour lunch break — teaching kindergarten is the best — so I bring it all home in my super-duper lunch box. Watch the video to see this engineering marvel that keep my hot food hot for my entire ten-minute commute home.

Apr 11, 2018

We would follow the Pug anywhere in the world

Our favorite eating place has left China, but it's rocking in Bangkok

In China, watch on YouKu.

It’s no secret that we’ve been obsessed for years with The Lazy Pug restaurant in Chengdu. We planned entire trips to the big city, just for a taste of their Taco Thursday. Danny, one of the owners, turned us on to Carrefour, the French-owned supermarket with all the expat goods. Ah, we were so naive back then.

Sadly, the Lazy Pug closed down last summer … we didn’t even get to say goodbye! But, we revisit the good times — as well as the reborn Pug, this time he’s Smokin’ in Bangkok — in our latest Eating Places special. If you find yourself traveling in Thailand and itching for a taste of home while abroad, we highly recommend the new place.

Just watch the video, friends, and then head on over to YouTube to subscribe to our channel!