14 December, 2006

Soy Milk… ‘the Devil’s drink’

One of Asia’s staple food products is a health risk. A commentator for the conservative US site World Net Daily has warned that “a devil food is turning our kids into homosexuals.”:

Screenshot 1

Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That’s why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today’s rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products. (Most babies are bottle-fed during some part of their infancy, and one-fourth of them are getting soy milk!) Homosexuals often argue that their homosexuality is inborn because “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t homosexual.” No, homosexuality is always deviant. But now many of them can truthfully say that they can’t remember a time when excess estrogen wasn’t influencing them.

A comment AP has received from a friend in Canada debunks the article:

There are a host of things wrong with this article. The assumption that being gay is bad, and should be curtailed. The anecdotal presentation of unnamed scientific studies as fact (cite them, darn it, and check literature reviews for other research). The assumption that sexual preference is connected to hormones. (If it makes penises smaller, it must make men gay!) The logical contradiction provided in his conclusion, when he says some soy is okay. The avoidance of contrary evidence - if soy is more prevalent now than in the past, and causes gayness, then one would expect population studies to show this. Where is “today’s rise in homosexuality” that he talks about? Television sitcoms? Same-sex legislation?

AP had already disregarded the validity of the article due to the use of “devil food’ in the headline. As we are of Irish ethnicity, we reject the idea that Soy milk is the devil when another beverage can make a claim that is much more solid. And this site will not speculate about what high soy content in a national diet may mean for penis size (commentors can fire away).

That said, Rutz — to his credit– does note that there is no risk from the consumption of soy sauce or other products that contain fermented soy. With that, readers can rest assured that neither natto nor stinky tofu will cause shrinkage or impotence (although the associated bad breath may limit attractiveness)..

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by @ 6:17 pm. Filed under Culture, Food and Drink, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia

28 June, 2006

Phnom Penh Food Safety

AsiaPundit has often eaten food from street stalls and small eateries run by cigarette-puffing proprietors. While ashes falling upon meals has occasionally caused concern, we should remember that chewing tobacco is not a safe alternative.:

We hear a lot about the dangers of secondhand smoke, but let’s not overlook the dangers of second-hand chewing tobacco…
Chewing Tobacco in Noodles Sickens 30
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Thirty Cambodians suffered food poisoning after eating homemade noodles contaminated with chewing tobacco that had dropped into the batter from the cook’s mouth, police said Monday.

In Cambodia, it is not unusual to discover objects that are typically smoked found in meals. AsiaPundit was once shocked to discover a large quantity of another noxious weed on food ordered at a very popular restaurant.

In part, the United Nations can be blamed for the lack of food safety.:

HappypizzaHappy Herb’s began in the heady days when the UN ruled Cambodia while they tried to sort out some half-decent elections. Cambodia was flooded with danger-seeking fools with astronomical wages which they squandered on drugs, prostitutes and fine dining. Herb was taught to cook pizzas by one of this crew, and suggested adding ganja, a traditional Khmer ingredient. (Later in the meal a veteran of the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia came over, steaming drunk and blazing a big Sherlock Holmes style pipe. “I used to be Very Important!” he said to a military policeman who couldn’t understand English. “I was an Election Monitor in 93!” His Khmer wife and child stood back in embarrassment.)

Herb’s always been a dab hand in the kitchen. He was his unit’s cook in the civil war, before he ran away. “I didn’t want to fight,” he said. As his unit was nearing the battlefield he and his two mates jumped off the lorry and legged it into the jungle. Because he was a deserter no one would give him a lift, so it took him a week to walk back to Phnom Penh. He sold all of his gear for food except for his AK-47, which he keeps to shoo away the tiny lizards that gather around light bulbs at night. “I take out the powder from the bullets,” he says, “I leave just enough to stun the little chik-chaks.”
The pizza arrived on a nice wooden platter. Herb’s found a blend of spices that complements the flavour of ganja perfectly. Anyone who’s tried cooking with weed will know that it leaves a sharp taste that overwhelms the rest of the food. Herb’s pizza has managed to tone it down with lots of creamy cheese, oregano and some other Italian herbs.

Related to food, many recommendations for fine dining in the Mekong region and elsewhere can be found by visiting the first-quarter nominees for the Best Asian Food Blog.

(Above image stolen from the Virtual Tourist page for Happy Herb’s.)

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by @ 10:14 am. Filed under Food and Drink, Cambodia, Asia, Southeast Asia

14 June, 2006

Kinabalu’s ‘Extra Special’ Coffee

The last time AsiaPundit was in Malaysian Borneo he ordered a large coffee at Poring Hot Springs … it came served in a three liter jug and was far too much caffeine for one person to handle.

Friskodude points to an item noting that one of the island’s coffee makers has developed another method for perking up its customers (NSFW).:

Kkcoffee Kota Kinabalu: The Health Ministry has uncovered a coffee company’s ploy of mixing its coffee powder products with Viagra just to make the coffee extra special.

Deputy Health Minister, Datuk Dr Haji Abd. Latiff Ahmad, said they found this after doing clinical tests on a sample of the ’special’ coffee powder known as “Kopi Kuat” (strong coffee) sold in the market at RM14 per packet.

“We suspected something amiss upon finding out the price of this coffee powder. We then took a sample and sent it to our laboratory for testing and we found it contains ViagraÆhat’s why it was called Kopi Kuat (strong coffee)’,” he said.

“This particular case arose after the product was registered under the Food Regulations Act. Probably due to strong competition, the company involved put in other additional elements into its coffee powder as to make its coffee more tastier or special. This is what we call a post registration issue,” he said.

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by @ 12:10 am. Filed under Food and Drink, Malaysia, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia

5 June, 2006

Soju Yogurt Cocktail

Those who thought that the red wine ice cream mentioned in the previous post wasn’t appetizing probably would not enjoy a yogurt soju cocktail.:

SojugurtI had mentioned before that I had discovered some great soju cocktails at Indio. Since then, I have successfully attempted to recreate them at home, particularly the yogurt soju cocktail.

It is built like a highball, meaning that the ingredients are poured directly into the glass in a certain order with no stirring or shaking.

1 shot of Soju
Fill glass 2/3 full with Drinkable Plain Yogurt
Top with Lemon Lime Soda (Sprite, Chilsung Cider, 7-Up)

I have always had it without ice, but I’m sure ice is a welcome option on a hot day. It’s a very refreshing drink and not as high in alcohol as other highballs. This means you can drink a lot of these and not get dehydrated while having your summer BBQs.

(Via Buhkan Mountain Breakdown)

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by @ 10:50 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

Soy Sauce ‘Healthier’ than Red Wine

A Singapore study has discovered that soy sauce is a better antioxidant than red wine.:

Dynastyred BEIJING, June 5 — Dark soya sauce, widely used in East Asia, may prove to be more effective than red wine and vitamin C in combating human cell damage, researchers in Singapore said.

Scientists found that the sauce — derived from fermented soya beans — contains antioxidant properties about 10 times more effective than red wine and 150 times more potent than vitamin C, Singapore’s Straits Times reported Saturday.

Antioxidants — found in red wine, fruits and vegetables — counter the effects of free radicals, unstable atoms which attack human cells and tissues. Free radicals have been linked to the aging process as well as a range of ailments including Parkinson’s disease, cancer and heart disease. The National University of Singapore study also found that the sauce improved blood flow by as much as 50 percent in the hours after consumption.

The original Straits Times article is only available by subscription, so it isn’t immediately clear what volume of soy sauce needs to be equivalent to a glass of red wine. AsiaPundit is a regular consumer of soy sauce, but consuming a full glass of it would be vomit inducing.

That noted, Japanese gourmands should have little trouble selecting a healthy dessert, having access to wine- and soy-flavored ice creams.:

Soy Sauce flavor — Putting the ’scream’ into ‘we all scream for ice cream’
Used in a wide variety of culinary dishes soy sauce is said to be “the flavor of Japan.”

But the dubious choice to add soy sauce to milk and sugar and pack it in a punnet has made the condiment a standout pick to headline the Wackiest World of Japanese Ice Cream and possibly soy, er, soiled ice cream as we know it forever.

Soy sauce ice cream was not a simple choice to lead, though, considering it was competing against such flavors as pit viper, Indian curry, miso ramen and salad.

And it was hard to choose soy sauce over the Pearl of the Orient — Pearl-flavored ice cream.

Picture 1


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by @ 10:30 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Japan, Singapore, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia

23 May, 2006

Kimchi Kills

After years of reports that Korean national dish kimchi prevents regular consumers from contracting avian flu and SARS, a study has indicated that the spicy fermented cabbage dish may be linked to ‘the most common cancer among Koreans.”:

Kimchihealthfood-1The researchers, all South Korean, report that kimchi and other spicy and fermented foods could be linked to the most common cancer among Koreans. Rates of gastric cancer among Koreans and Japanese are 10 times higher than in the United States.

“We found that if you were a very, very heavy eater of kimchi, you had a 50% higher risk of getting stomach cancer,” said Kim Heon of the department of preventive medicine at Chungbuk National University and one of the authors. “It is not that kimchi is not a healthy food — it is a healthy food, but in excessive quantities there are risk factors.”

Kim said he tried to publicize the study but a friend who is a science reporter, told him, “This will never be published in Korea.”

Other studies have suggested that the heavy concentration of salt in some kimchi and the fish sauce used for flavoring could be problematic, but they too have received comparatively little attention.

Even the most ardent proponents say that at times, kimchi might be too much of a good thing.

Nutritionist Park, who in addition to the Kimchi Research Institute heads the Korea Kimchi Assn. and the Korean Society for Cancer Prevention, said that traditionally, kimchi contained a great deal of salt, which could combine with red pepper to form a carcinogen.

As a regular kimchi consumer AsiaPundit is deeply concerned about this report. Moreover, given how much Korean men smoke, he is shocked that gastric cancer is the most common form of the disease.

(Via Japundit)

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by @ 12:57 am. Filed under Food and Drink, South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

17 May, 2006

Asia’s Best Restaurants

Singapore foodie Chubby Hubby is seeking nominations from Asian bloggers for the best Asia-Pacific restaurants.:

Aprl LogoI’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about Restaurant magazine’s survey of the world’s fifty best restaurants and how few restaurants from Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands were represented in it. So, in a bold (and perhaps hubristic) move, I’ve decided to try and build a comprehensive listing of Asia-Pacific’s best restaurants.

This list, however, depends entirely on you, fellow bloggers, readers and friends. And in such, anyone and everyone is welcome to take part in this. I’ll make this caveat right away: any survey is only as good as the people who take part in it. And it’s only really credible if a lot of people take part. Also, no survey is perfect. Nor can it be truly definitive or objective. Zagat isn’t. Nor is Michelin. Both simply represent a statistical summation of what a percentage of the population feels (for the former, a wide range of people, for the latter a small group of anonymous “experts”). So too will this survey be a summation of what you guys tell me. That said, let’s try and put together one damn fine list!

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by @ 1:28 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia

26 April, 2006

major advances in central asia

At the Registran, Nathan provides news that beer consumption is rising in Central Asia.:

CapRFE/RL reports that beer consumption is skyrocketing in Central Asia.

“Clearly, market research in countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, is at a lower level of sophistication than it is in, say, Russia or China,” he says. “But I’ve seen massive volume growth in both Russia and China in terms of the beer market, and all the indications are that in Kazakhstan, in Turkmenistan, in Uzbekistan, beer is on a steady upward growth curve.”

Silvester cites a recent market-research report in Central Asia and the Caucasus carried out by the beer-market consultancy Plato Logic. The report found that, from 2002 to 2005, beer consumption in Turkmenistan grew by a staggering 177 percent. Other Central Asian countries are not far behind. Kyrgyzstan has shown a 112 percent increase, Kazakhstan a 75 percent increase, and Tajikistan a 71 percent rise.

And he adds the even better news that beer quality is increasing.:

I think that the issue of quality is very important, and I am surprised it was not mentioned especially because a Baltika employee is quoted in the story. I picked up some Baltikas at the supermarket the other day for nostalgia’s sake and to see if they were better than last time I’d had them. They were better. In fact, since I first tried Baltika seven years ago in Russia, I have noticed constant improvements in quality, and I know that they are not the only brand to have improved over the years.

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by @ 11:12 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Asia, Central Asia

24 April, 2006

moonie sushi

Bingfeng asked where the FLG get their money. AsiaPundit has no idea. But it seems another Far Eastern spiritual movement cult sect get a significant chunk of change from running a near monopoly on US sushi restaurants.:

 Wikipedia Fr Thumb 6 6D Sushi.Png 300Px-Sushi-1Adhering to a plan Moon spelled out more than three decades ago in a series of sermons, members of his movement managed to integrate virtually every facet of the highly competitive seafood industry. The Moon followers’ seafood operation is driven by a commercial powerhouse, known as True World Group. It builds fleets of boats, runs dozens of distribution centers and, each day, supplies most of the nation’s estimated 9,000 sushi restaurants.

Although few seafood lovers may consider they’re indirectly supporting Moon’s religious movement, they do just that when they eat a buttery slice of tuna or munch on a morsel of eel in many restaurants. True World is so ubiquitous that 14 of 17 prominent Chicago sushi restaurants surveyed by the Tribune said they were supplied by the company. [Chicago Tribune]

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by @ 11:32 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Japan, South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

11 April, 2006


Via 3 Yen, witness Gal-Sone.:

The name “Gal-sone” is a play on the Japanese katakana word “gal” (ギャル) means young woman who dresses provocatively in the “gal style” and “sone” which is typical sumo name ending. In this case, the longish (runtime: 09:21) YouTube video in Japanese shows “Gal-sone” constantly adjusting her makeup while sucking up 22 bowls of Okinawa noodles.

by @ 7:37 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Film

chinese mink and foie gras

China has no legislation to prevent animal cruelty. If it did, the Guangzhou’s infamous live animal market would not exist and the nation wouldn’t have to endure barbs from Europeans who complain about such things at the harvesting of bear bile. AsiaPundit generally regards the European complaints as valid, however China can now retaliate with an argument that Europe shouldn’t complain about animal abuse in China as it is being increasingly done for the benefit of European consumers.

From Xinhua, China is seeking to become the top global location for caging and force-feeding geese for French consumption.:

180Px-GavageBEIJING, April 11 — Thanks to a growing interest in gourmet foods, China is aiming to become one of the world’s biggest producers of foie gras made from goose liver in the coming years.

This was the verdict from a delegation from northeastern Jilin Province, China’s biggest poultry region, during a visit to France last week.

Qi Mingce, managing director of the Jifa group, told reporters he had signed a deal with Delpeyrat based in the southwestern French town of Mont-de-Marsan.

“For the past two years we have produced about 100 tons of foie gras in our Changchun factory, that’s about two-thirds of Chinese production, force-feeding some 200,000 geese,” said Qi.

“But our aim is to reach 1,000 tons over the next five years with two million geese.”

As well, China is set to start producing more mink coats. Via Business Wire, China Southern has 30,000 minks from Denmark to certain doom!

Malleable Mating Minks Make Mainland Move: Denmark-Raised Minks Head to New Homes on China Southern Airlines for Breeding


AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 10, 2006–China Southern Airlines, (NYSE:ZNH)(HKSE:1055)(SHA:600029) - www.cs-air.com/en - with the largest and most technically advanced aircraft fleet in The People’s Republic of China, has completed two charters of 30,000 breeding minks from their farms in Denmark … to their new homes in Harbin and Dalian, China.

Originating from farms in Denmark, China Southern’s first charter of 18,000 minks was flown from Billund Airport to Harbin in Northeastern China … and a second charter moved 12,000 minks from Billund Airport to the seaside city of Dalian.

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by @ 1:14 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

27 March, 2006

vietnam sodas

Noodlepie has a ranking of Vietnam’s 18 top soft drinks. AsiaPundit endorses the number-four ranking soursop juice and regrets that he has not had access to soursop juice since leaving Southeast Asia (soursop mixes very, very, well with gin.).


Beverage: Nuoc Mang Cau/Guanabana Juice (Soursop Juice)

Ingredients: Water, 35% guanabana (soursop juice), sugar, citric acid

Appearance: Ooh… this chap looks like a ready to go Ricard only with a more viscous body. I like.

Aroma: I’m getting a 1970’s punk-era cornershop sweetshop in Macclesfield, shelves behind the counter stacked with sweet jars. One kid in red bondage trousers is ordering a quarter of rhubarb & custards while his accomplice, decked out in a Siouxsie and the Banshees Happy House t-shirt, is stealthily nicking a bag of fizzbombs, a sherbert fountain and a pack of Chocolate flavoured HubbaBubba bubblegum.

Taste: Sits squarely in sweet territory, but fruity, syrupy sweet, not over sacharine yukko, barf, barf, sweet. The sheer thickness of the liquid is slightly off-putting. This might work better diluted with water, but it’s the fruitiest quaff I’ve sampled thus far.

If this drink were a politician it would be… Kenneth Baker. A bit slimey.

Our survey said… 7 out of 10 points. That’s 6 points for the promised-on-the-label 35% fruit goodness in a can and 0.5 bonus points because the name guanabana sounds like birdshit banana. I’ll award a further 0.5 points as, by rights, soursop should be dictionary defined as:

Soursop - noun, derogative 1. That filthy soursop from Accounts stank the whole bleedin’ place out. Someone who has just farted long and loud and without apology mid-way through an important meeting to discuss the relocation plans of a medium sized, Norwich-based, IT Consultancy. Non-farters present are commonly observed shuffling photocopied agendas, fondling cufflinks and checking PDAs. The soursop remains placid with a stoney expression that belies an inner feeling of immense relief.

Cost: 3,600VD or sod all.

Check out the numbers 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 (again), 3, 2, 1.

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by @ 10:41 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Vietnam

16 February, 2006

kimchi air-conditioner

While AsiaPundit does not yet trust the ’science’ behind this, it is brilliant marketing by LG. AsiaPundit wonders, however, ‘is the kimchi air conditioner odorless?‘:

LG Electronics, the world’s leading air conditioner maker, said on Thursday that it will start selling air conditioners that prevent avian influenza with a special filter coated with a substance extracted from a fermented kimchi. The new air conditioners target Southeast Asian countries affected by bird flu and will be marketed this year.


The new products, nicknamed “Anti-A.I. Aircon,” have a filter covered with an anti-bacterial substance extracted from kimchi, South Korea’s spicy fermented cabbage dish, the company said in a press conference. …

There have been a few reports that indicate kimchi and other fermented dishes could be effective in treating avian influenza on birds, as a Seoul National University team reported last year. However, there hasn’t been no evidence of its effect on humans so far and there is no commercially available vaccine to protect humans against the bird flu yet.

(via Boing Boing)

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by @ 7:20 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

12 February, 2006

sashimi and nationalism

Via Mutant Frog, Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying Jiu has denied that the party is contributing to anti-Japanese nationalism, saying that he loves sashimi.:

SashimiReports that the KMT walks lockstep with the mainland (China) in their anti-Japan campaign do not reflect my real feelings. I even love sashimi!” On the 10th Ma Ying Jiu (mayor of Taipei), chairman of the KMT[Chinese Nationalist Party], Taiwan’s largest opposition party, assembled Japanese reporters resident in Taipei and issued a denial of the viewpoint that he was himself a believer in anti-Japan ideology.

There are indications that the KMT has been intensifying their anti-Japan tendencies, such as stressing their own role in the Sino/Japanese war. “We criticize even the white terror (of KMT despotic rule) and (China’s) Tainanmen incident from the same basis of human rights and constutituional government. There’s no reason to make an issue out of only Japan,” Chairman Ma Ying Jiu said.

However, “I do not approve of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Yasukuni Shrine visits,” he said, not forgetting that stab in the neck. Ma Ying Jiu is currently considered the favorite to win in Taiwan’s next presidential election.

As someone who lives in China and has has lived in Korea, AsiaPundit will note that it is entirely possible to like sashimi and harbor ill will toward the Japanese. It’s also possible to wear Levi’s jeans and Nike sneakers and be anti-American.

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by @ 5:55 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

7 February, 2006

soju lite

Via GI Korea, AsiaPundit learns of the new ‘lite’ soju.’:

SojuDoosan Corp. unveiled yesterday its new brand of soju, with a slightly lower alcohol content and a slightly lower price.

Soju is a colorless, nearly tasteless liquor that has become the stuff of lore and legend among foreign residents here. T-shirts available in Itaewon describe "the nine stages of soju," and even many American GIs are leery of the stuff.

But the announcement could lead to questions about whether company officials had been taste-testing their new product a bit too much. The alcohol content in the new brand was reduced from 21 to 20 percent and the price is 70 won (about 7 cents) cheaper than the mainline version.

Han Key-sun of Doosan’s beverage division said the alcoholic content was reduced to cut costs and the savings passed along to consumers who imbibe to forget their economic hardships.

Interesting, in most countries ‘lite’ means low calorie or low in alcohol, as in Australian ‘mid-strength’ beers. In Korea ‘lite’ seems to mean "cheap enough so that the unemployed can drink away their sorrows."

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by @ 11:06 am. Filed under Food and Drink, South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

31 January, 2006

asian desserts

At Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen asks a question that has long perplexed AsiaPundit: "Why don’t Asian restaurants have good desserts?":

IcekachangI’ll let you all bicker as to whether the stylized fact is true only in the USA, or across the world.  I don’t know if the following explanation is true, but finally I have heard an explanation which might plausibly be true:

    …many traditional desserts require a great deal of work to make, at least when compared to stir-frying some shreds of this and that together.  Most restaurateurs are simply unwilling to go to the trouble, particularly since the profit margin on desserts is generally smaller than that on the main dishes.  The same phenomenon occurs in other ethnic restaurants.  In the old country, desserts and snack foods are made in specialized shops where the volume keeps labor costs down [TC: and freshness up…btw, the emphasis is added].

That is from A. Zee’s Swallowing Clouds: A Playful Journey Through Chinese Culture, Language, and Culture.  The author also suggests that the Chinese prefer to eat desserts apart from regular mealtimes; for some reason this is supposed to lower the quality of restaurant-based desserts.  I prefer the first explanation.  Indian sweet shops are fantastic, but U.S.-based Indian restaurants have only so-so desserts.  Comments are open, I am eager to hear your opinions…

(Image via here)

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by @ 7:19 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia

28 January, 2006

beer bots



Japanese beer maker Asahi plans to give away 5000 personal bartending bots, each of which can store up to six cans of beer in a refrigerated compartment within its belly. At the push of a button the simple robots will open a can and pour the chilled contents into a glass for a thirsty owner.

To win one of the beer-bots, in a promotion for the company’s new low malt beer, contestants must collect 36 tokens found on the specially marked beers. But the competition, starting in February, is only open to those in Japan.

Some robotics experts see the promotion as a fun way to promote a wider interest in robotics. Others, however, say it is a gimmick that distracts from genuine robot research.

(Via Boing Boing)

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by @ 1:04 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

22 January, 2006

nude yogurt fights: not art!

Via Nomad, South Korea’s courts have decided that nude yogurt fights have no artistic merit.:

Naked Dairy Fight Had No Artistic Merit, Court Finds

Yogurt1A Seoul appellate court on Friday sentenced an executive of a domestic milk company to a fine of about US$5,000 for staging a nude yoghurt fight to advertise a new product.

The bench ruled the performance was purely commercially motivated and had no artistic merit whatsoever. It said the show, in which three nude models sprayed each other with yoghurt, was obscene and sensational, adding it could find no justification for using nudity to achieve the goal of the campaign. One model identified as Park, who also serves as head of the Korea Nude Models’ Association, was fined US$2,000, while two other models were fined US$600 each.

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by @ 9:55 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

windows bento

This is cute.:


AsiaPundit would still prefer OS X bento.

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by @ 10:41 am. Filed under Food and Drink, Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

31 December, 2005

kimchi saves

Kimchi sales have jumped in the US on reports that it can cure avian flu.:


Ho Jin Lee, president of Kim Chee Pride Inc. of Maspeth, N.Y., which supplies kimchi on the East Coast, said sales jumped 20 percent this year.

A sudden new joie d’epice in the American diet?

Try avian flu.

Blame it on the Internet, the anxiety of life in the 21st century, or a volatile combination of the two, but publication of a minor study by a South Korean academic last spring has apparently triggered a minor run on kimchi, a daily staple of the Korean diet that the bland-of-palate are likely to avoid like a global pandemic.

Which presents a potentially difficult choice given the work of Kang Sa-Ouk of Seoul National University, who took 13 chickens infected with avian flu virus and a couple of other diseases, fed them kimchi juice and found that 11 of the birds recovered.

Word of the study has been circulating on the Internet. As fears about bird flu have grown in the recent months, Yoon and operators of other ethnic groceries have gotten more phone calls about kimchi.

Kimchi was also said to prevent SARS, plus as Kimchi.or.kr notes “rich Korean history intensifies the depth in the taste of kimchi.”

(Via Avian Flu Blog)

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by @ 5:41 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

11 December, 2005

how to eat sushi

Via Japundit, a must-see documentary on .:


After watching, AsiaPundit is amazed by his own ignorance.

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by @ 2:11 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

4 December, 2005

snickers with chinese characteristics

While the road-safety tests for the Landwind indicate that China still has a long way to go in making comparable automotive products to the West, the Weifang Radish reports that Chinese has perfected and improved upon Snickers’ technologies.:

…the American Snickers cost 7.8RMB while the Chinese Snickers only cost 3.5RMB.

Well, was there any difference? Yes, the Chinese snickers was far superior in appearance, taste and smell. This is most likely due to the fact that the Chinese Snickers was produced on October 1 whereas the American Snickers was produced on May 16 and was probably stored in less than ideal conditions during it’s long journey from America to Jialejia.

The American Snickers had a distinct un-fresh flavor to it and even tasted a bit chemically. The Chinese Snickers, by contrast, tasted fresh and natural and was all around delicious.


Top: American; Bottom; Chinese

AsiaPundit too endorses Chinese Snickers. However, AP questions whether the chemical taste in the US export bar is simply added because it is for export markets. (China, to AP’s regret, has not yet developed any Butterfinger technology)

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by @ 6:45 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

2 November, 2005

sino-korean food fight

In what threatens to be a repeat of the , South Korea and China are employing tit-for-tat sanctions on food products.

From Xinhua:

KimchiBEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhuanet) — The State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (SAQSIQ) has announced 10 kinds of food products made by certain factories in the Republic of Korea (ROK) are barred from entering the country.

The prohibited food products include several ROK brands of pickles, barbecue sauce and chili sauce, according to the administration on Monday.

China stopped the import of these food products from the ROK because parasite eggs were found in the products, it said.

The administration asked local quality inspection departments to enhance supervision over pickles, barbecue sauce and chili sauce made in the ROK, and to destroy those unqualified ROK food products that have entered China

This follows a report last week from the Korea Times.:

Health officials have again discovered parasite eggs in some Chinese-made kimchi products, escalating public concerns about the health risks of food imports.

The Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) said Thursday that it has found parasite eggs in 15 samples of 82 Chinese kimchi products stored in warehouses.

Kimchi is a spicy fermented cabbage and radish that is the main side dish of most Korean meals.

Quarantine officials have conducted inspections on a total of 82 Chinese kimchi products (227.6 tons) stored in warehouses after customs clearance since the food regulator found three species of parasite eggs in nine samples of the 18 Chinese kimchi products sold in Internet shopping malls last Friday.

AsiaPundit is thankful that the spat has so far been limited to Kimchi and pickles. In the last food-related incident, China barred microchips, mobile phones and petroochemical products in retaliation over Korean garlic quotas.

Still, if the reported parasite eggs are legitimate - and not just veiled protectionism - I do have concerns about the quality of all the kimchi ingested since my arrival. I’m hoping that my preferred method of preparation, boiling the kimchi along with ramyeon noodles, has prevented any ill effects.

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by @ 3:14 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, South Korea, China, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia

27 October, 2005

taipei’s chicken line

Via the Taipei Kid.:


Thank goodness the MRT authorities have posted these bilingual signs telling commuters not to bring poultry into subway stations. Taipei’s English-speaking community, mostly made up of North Americans, Europeans and South Africans, have a terrible habit of bringing live birds onto the subway.

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by @ 9:16 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Taiwan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

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