INCURABLE ROMANTIC AND DIM SUM, OR PERVERT WITH CRUSTACEANS, THAT IS THE QUESTION
Truth be told, I am not a particularly social man.
The multiple-person social dynamic can be stressful.
I like people though, it's just that it often feels like they're from a different planet.
Especially in groups.
Besides, there's something far too erotic about dimsum (點心) for me to deal with at present.
Think of the appearance of many of the items: little dumplings, buns, pastries......
Are we talking nipples and breasts? Yes, I think we are.
Shan't even mention what no mai kai (糯米雞) resembles!
"Women are America's Little Dumplings"
--------President Ronald Reagan
Please consider what the standard chicken bun (雞飽) or charsiu bun (叉燒飽) looks like: a smooth-surfaced half-globe broader than it is tall, with a pinched part at the top, and sometimes a red dot to differentiate one type from the other.
Some places make larger ones, but most would fit comfortably into an 'A' cup with room to spare.
Pale, rounded, and warm to the touch. An eloquent and delightful assertion of femininity!
Ha gau (蝦餃) and siu mai (燒賣) are in their own way distinctly nipplish with their surface textures, wu gok (芋角) present an almost over the top erotic textural experience to the mouth, haahm sui gok (咸水角) have an elasticity and a surface sheen which is most suggestive, and ma lai go (馬拉糕) is far too sweet and innocent to be believable.
Dim sum: it's a veritable panoply of temptation!
All in all, given the complete absence of love in my life, even I would not trust myself around a teahouse.
It isn't that food is necessarily sexual (although crustaceans definitely are).
But shared food is very 'conducive', and small bites suggest intimacy.
Dining is a sensual experience.
Dim sum particularly.
BRIEF EXPLICATA: TEA HOUSE FOOD
Dim sum (點心): 'dot heart' - little snackypoos, both savoury and sweet, some steamed, some fried. Traditionally eaten from morning till early afternoon while engaged in drinking tea (yam cha: 飲茶), often with friends or family.
No mai kai (糯米雞): glutinous rice, chicken, and other ingredients for taste, wrapped in a lotus leaf and steamed until the rice has absorbed the wonderful savoury flavours and the whole is steamy soft goodness. It is cut open at the table upon serving.
Gai bao (雞飽): a steamed wheat dough bun filled with chopped spiced chicken, plus often a slice of Chinese sausage (lap cheung: 臘腸) and a few slivers of dried mushroom (dong gu: 冬菇).
Charsiu bao (叉燒飽): steamed wheat dough bun filled with red roast pork.
Ha gau (蝦餃): Steamed bite-size pleated pasta pouch filled with coarsely chopped shrimp. The skin is made of wheat and tapioca flour mixed to a dough with boiling water, which yields a dumpling that is slightly sticky to the touch, springy enough to hold together when picked up with chop sticks, yet thin and translucent.
Siu mai (燒賣): ground pork and mushrooms cupped in a thin pocket of lye-water dough such as is used to make noodles (though regular wheat flour dough can also be used), pinched to hold it together but left open at the top, steamed.
Wu gok (芋角): mashed cooked taro molded around a minced pork filling, deep fried and served piping hot. Crispy flaky fluffy savoury.
Haahm sui gok (咸水角): layer of rice-flour dough flavoured with chopped fatty pork, steamed, cut into squares, fried on one side.
Ma lai go (馬拉糕): a soft golden-hued steamed sponge cake precisely evocative of warm cheeks or lovely bare arms.
There are other zesty offerings!
Tsien tsang go (千層糕): multiple layer cake, soft and sweet.
Dan tat (蛋撻): little egg tart - a rich yellow custard in a puff-pastry cup. Creamy!
Tou fu fa (豆腐花): smooth soft sweetened tofu. Velvety!
Fu pei kuen (腐皮捲): 'curd skin roll', a sheet of tofu skin rolled around shrimp, pork, bamboo shoot, steamed and served with a little of the condensate. Do NOT ask me what this makes me think of. No, it isn't that!
Cheung fan (腸粉: rice sheets, with various fillings.
Ngau yiuk kau (牛肉球): steamed meatballs with slightly sweet aromatic spicing.
Dau si pai gwat (豆豉排骨): black-bean spareribs. Mmm, savoury, salty, juicy, meaty! A very tactile food.
Chun kuen (春捲): spring rolls.
THREE LITTLE GIRLS FROM SCHOOL
Several years ago I introduced some Shanghainese to dim sum. As was to be expected, they weren't too impressed.
Most Chinese are fiercely chauvinistic in their food tastes, and will easily find fault with another region's cuisines. Shanghainese people in particular have a tendency to regard their own city as the centre of the universe, Canton as odd, Hong Kong as crass, and Toishanese San Francisco as rather backward.
Surely there is very little good to eat here?
I should mention that there is nothing quite so beguiling as young ladies putting food in their mouths, particularly with chopsticks. And many women look downward slightly when doing so. Very charming.
Those three girls were a feast for the eye as they ate. Boy did they eat!
Because of the nature of dimsum, that being a variety of small mostly bite-sized snacks, one often doesn't realize just how much one has put away.
I paced myself, they didn't.
Feeding them was very pleasing to the eyes. Worth every moment!
Especially when one of them ate the tou fu fa (豆腐花).
You see, it's jiggly and slithers on the spoon.
And it came in a gently rounded bowl smaller and shallower than regular rice or soup size......
PLATES, VOICES, HANDS
I really need to FEED someone. Food and female companionship are a natural match. But at this point in time dimsum is out of the question - too frustrating, too stimulating.
Perhaps I can invite a discrete young lady out for steak at Harrah's, if an opportunity arises?
Glistening silver ware, sparkling glasses, deep comfy banquettes.
We can always save dimsum for later.
If and when we're more comfortable in each other's presence.
Having someone pleasant across the table would be very good.
We can talk about crustaceans at a future date.
They too are very erotic.
Heavens, will you look at the time! I should go get myself a slice of mediocre pizza!
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