Bread Around the World: Injera

To most, the cuisine in the so called “Dark Continent” is something of a mystery.  I fondly remember my first true foray into African food in a little cafe off main street.  Sadly it’s gone now, partially because I think Vancouverites are a little lost in this region.  I know I was at first.  I had a leg up, though, in the form of a boisterous and jovial fellow at the next table over who was all to happy to show me how best to enjoy my experience.  The key was Injera, an Ethiopian flat bread that served as the edible utensil.  The man showed me how to use it to eat the strange (but tasty) cassava paste and delicious goat stew. Continue reading

Bread Around the World: Char Siu Bao

It’s a new year, according to the Lunar Calendar, the Year of the Snake.  Since any new years is traditionally a time of new beginnings, it seems a great time to introduce a feature on international breads.  I am very fortunate in that my city is home to a world class China Town with some beyond excellent cuisine.  My Kung Fu Sifu always said he preferred the Chinese food here to his native Hong Kong.  Any time I’m in China Town and feeling peckish I always hit up New Town Bakery for one of their steamed buns, the most popular of which is Char Siu Bao, probably more commonly known as BBQ Pork Buns.  Used to be the thought of missing out on these and other Dim Sum staples was enough to deter even the thought of moving out of Vancouver.  Fortunately I have since learned much and can make my own buns to rival those of New Town’s.  They’re not too hard to make, can easily be frozen and enjoyed later, be microwaved or steamed and are damn near irresistible. Continue reading