Aihua International Market

20 Mar

471If you haven’t been in to explore Evansville’s largest international grocery, it’s time for a little trip to Aihua International Market on North Green River Road.

The owner, Aihua Sun, opened her first small store in 2003.

After bursting at the seams for several years, the business moved across the street into a much larger facility in 2010.

The store carries food from all over the world including Russia, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as from a variety of Asian cuisines. The aisles are even labeled for your convenience.

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Cafe Arazu and Magnificent Mulligatawny!

18 Mar

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Last week, a friend and I went to lunch at Cafe Arazu to celebrate my birthday. The Cafe serves a variety of Middle Eastern cuisine.

This adorable Newburgh restaurant is as delicious as it is charming. Set in the heart of downtown Newburgh, the Cafe is surrounded by all sorts of quant little shops and boutiques.

I had eaten at Cafe Arazu several years ago and remember enjoying it. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to return!

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The soup of the day, mulligatawny, was a creamy, filling stew of chicken, rice, and vegetables.

It tasted strongly and wonderfully of curry and was topped with chopped green apple and herbs. It was one of the most delicious soups I have had in a long time and I’m already craving it again!

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Malian Saka Saka

8 Mar

Oh. my. tastebuds.

Over the weekend, I hosted a dinner party with my Malian-American friend Tigui as the featured chef.

For weeks, my friend had tried to hunt down some goat meat for us. It got a little complicated, so we decided to go with roast lamb from the Old Fashioned Butcher Shoppe.

Lamb + Onion + Spinach + Okra = Deliciousness!

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If this picture makes your mouth water, here’s the recipe (based on 3 lbs. of meat):

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Dragonfruit Rrrrrrrrrrr

3 Mar

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Her bright pink skin is smooth and vibrant. Her delicate, vivid green petals adorn like jewelry. She has a mystique that’s second to none.

The New York Times calls this member of the cactus family a “fruit with a future” and Hollywood’s new “it girl.”

Her name: Dragonfruit.

This mysterious little gem has always called to me from the boxes at various international markets. For years, I have stared at her. Picked her up and investigated her, but always put her down.

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Chinatown Philly, Part 2

28 Feb

After our crazy journey to get to Philly over the weekend, there was no way I was leaving the city without raiding Chinatown. Plus I had a white friend with me who had missed dim sum the day before. She needed to be initiated.

Must-find Chinese delights: Wu Gok, the taro root dumplings that I raved about in my last post.

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Next on the list: Bubble Tea, also known as Pearl or Tapioca Tea, boba tea, “the drink with the fat straw,” and a variety of other names.

These delicious drinks come in a ton of different flavors including papaya, coconut, honeydew, taro, coffee, thai tea, lychee, or mango.

Some are the same consistency as any iced drink. Some are blended into a thick smoothie.

But the element that makes Bubble Tea what it is are the dark Tapioca balls waiting for you at the bottom of the cup.

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Chinatown Philly

25 Feb

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So a couple of friends and I took a road trip to Philadelphia over the weekend to go to The Justice Conference. It was exhausting, since we spent 30 of the 70 hours we were gone on the road and encountered snow, ice, and car trouble.

One redeeming part of the trip, however, was that Chinatown was only 3 blocks away! We ate Dim Sum one afternoon where I was so excited I completely forgot to take pictures. Oops.

The servers pushed their carts of steaming little delicacies around and we picked whichever plates we wanted. My friend chose exotics such as jellyfish and shark fin dumplings, the latter of which are controversial because the sharks are killed just for their fins.

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Perfect Plantains!

20 Feb

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Plantains are an easy, delicious treat. You might be wondering “What is the difference between plantains and bananas?” Bananas can be eaten raw while plantains are starchier and served cooked. My friend Tigui from Mali recently showed me how to fry plantains.

At first I got a little worried because her plantains were very green on the outside and mine were black and yellow (more black than anything). So I did a little research and was relieved to find that plantains can be friend at any stage of ripeness. Just like bananas, the more yellow/black they are, the sweeter they taste.

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Happy taste buds, empty wallet

17 Feb

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Ever since I sampled their delicious food at a downtown event several years ago, Eclipse Spanish Tapas and Bar has been at the top of my “must try” list.

The concept of tapas, small dishes that everyone shares, reminds me of one of my favorite Cantonese Chinese traditions, Dim Sum.

Adventureous friend in tow, I finally checked it out last night. The ambiance and decor were delightful. We were seated quickly. I drooled over the menu. But *gulped* at the prices.

We decided to try three different dishes…

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Bienvenidos. Akeyi. Welcome!

10 Feb

086I am an early-thirties adventurer who spent the majority of my twenties traveling the world doing mission work.

I climbed mountains. I held babies. I ate worm cocoons. I cried at poverty and suffering. I drank deeply of each new culture I experienced. I laughed. A lot.

I discovered many new passions and interests along the way, and fell irrevocably in love with different cultures and new experiences.

Now I’m “settled in” finishing up my Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and continuing to enjoy as much adventure as I can find in my little corner of the world.

One of the ways I attempt to hold my wanderlust at bay is through my taste buds. I have found that an amazing little off-the-beaten-path restaurant or a delicious international meal cooked with my friends can transport us via our senses to a different country with each flavorful bite.

For example, wouldn’t this delectable Baked Salmon in Lime-Coconut Cream Sauce just fly your senses somewhere that’s not here?

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