Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Perfect Vessel

I'm going to visit Ma and Pops in Southern California for Thanksgiving! However, that means that "Passionate Eater" will be on a temporary holiday hiatus. Before I head off on my roadtrip, I just wanted post something brief about how important presentation is for "passionate eaters." If dressed and displayed correctly, food can seem ten times more delicious that it actually is.

I have the Pavlov Dog Syndrome whenever I am served anything in a carved-out fruit or in a clay hot pot. The food inside the clay pot could be yesterday's garbage and I wouldn't know the difference. For instance, take a look at these pictures of entrees that make my mouth water "on cue":

Hollowed out pineapple makes this spicy red duck curry look incredible. Plus, the "serving boat" and cocktail umbrella are cute touches. The day when I ate it at the restaurant, I was in ecstacy. However, I ordered the same dish at the same restaurant as take out in a large styrofoam cup, and I thought it was terrible.

I also adore pineapple fried rice. When I get it on a bland beige plate, I usually feel like the rice lacks pizzazz, but the rice always seems so bright and fresh when served in a halved pineapple shell.

The rest of these pictures speak for themselves. The pictures include: 1) Dungeness crab with dried red chiles and black bean sauce [in a clay pot], 2) seafood curry with bell peppers, scallops, squid, and rock shrimp [in a clay pot], and 3) spicy mango and tofu stir-fry [in hollowed mango shells].

Just to allow you the opportunity to contrast and see for yourself if you are as similarly impacted by fruit shells and sizzling clay pots as I am, I am providing some additional pictures for you to judge for yourself. If you like the pictures above better, you are a "Type FSCP" (Fruit Shells & Clay Pots).

I'd say the following pictures look "delicious," but they lack the immediate visual attractiveness that get my salivary glands activated like waterfalls. The pictures include: 1) creamy shrimp with candied walnuts and steamed broccoli, 2) fried rice with ham, peas, and eggs, 3) lobster fried with scallions in a batter-like coating, 4) deep-fried flounder with stir-fried greens, 5) deep-fried squid (this stuff is significantly better than calamari), 6) beef and rice noodles, with scallions and bean sprouts, and 7) stirfried tofu and snow peas.

Let me know what type of visuals you like better! Or, let me know if you think all the pictures look pretty good, and that I just wanted to put up a whole bunch of food pictures with minimal commentary! ;)


  1. Presentation is everything. i love fried rice served in a halved pineapple. happy thanksgiving to you. i'll be reading your blog more and more.

  2. pics are awesome! Eating definitely is for all the senses..smell, taste, touch (finger foodS!) etcetc. If something looks pretty then it prolly makes the dish taste that much better.(and more fun to take pics of.) :p

  3. Thank you so much Dylan! I already read your blog religiously--I love your posts and taste in delicious food.

    Preach it LL! I like using all my senses to eat! I'm glad to see you had a wonderful time at the MD wedding. (You looked beautiful!) Hope the food was an incredible "sensory" experience, (meaning, it was delicious)!

    P.S. Sorry for the massive delay in responding--my mind just got back from Thanksgiving vacation.

  4. Pineapple fried rice is the BEST!

  5. your blog makes me hungry.
    do you cook them (the food) yourself?
    where did you learn to cook?

  6. Thanks Noel! I hope you come back, I am going to try and make the pictures "more appealing" in future posts.

    Some of the food I cook, and some of the food is restaurant food. For instance, I made the wontons and the oxtail soup, but all the food in this post was from various restaurants.a

  7. Oops, I forgot to tell you Noel, I learned how to cook from my parents, Betty Crocker's cookbook, and also from Food Network! :)

  8. (i should have placed my comment here) =)

    was/is there a 3D version of Chicken Little? I would love to.

    I also love to eat but can't cook. My mother though is a fantastic cook. She can turn a few ingredients into mouthwatering dishes. I love mostly seafood, especially crabs and smoked tuna.

  9. Hi Noel! I left a longer reply message above (in the wonton post) if you'd like to view it.

    I heard they are also making King Kong in 3D too!

    It definitely takes a lot of skill to make seafood dishes, because you need to cook it just right (not overcook or undercook it), and you want to retain the delicious seafood flavor.

    I love to see pictures of your Mom's food sometime!


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