Wednesday, November 29, 2017


The important thing is tea. A cup of strong Assam or Ceylon, with a little sugar and milk, plus, of course, a cookie. It strikes me that I have no idea what crumpets are, as those have never been part of my world. Unless perhaps they are the same as a Thomas’® English Muffin.
Tasty with cheddar cheese and melted butter.
And a little Jalapeño chili.

Tea and crumpets are quintessentially English.
The Jalapeño is far less so.

Jalapeños are called "pointy peppers" in Cantonese (尖椒 'tsim chiu'), as opposed to "lantern peppers" (燈籠椒 'tang lung chiu', but also 青椒 'ching chiu'). Not really a standard part of a tea-time snack in mid-afternoon among the Cantos. Neither are capers (續隨子 'juk seui ji'), or anchovies (鯷魚 'tai yü'), or, for that matter, Cheddar cheese.
But they should be.

The jury is out on potted shrimp, though. That being small shrimp preserved in ghee with nutmeg and cayenne.

The Hong Kong Chinese are somewhat enthusiastic about many British things, being adventurous and open-minded (especially about fun stuff to eat), but while they have warmly embraced warm sweet strong milky tea, as well as baked goods, they have not developed an affection for muffins, even less so for capers (if at all), and Lancashire potted shrimp would almost certainly strike them as anathema and heresy squared.
They seem to have welcomed the pointy pepper.
It's great in dishes with fatty pork.
As are anchovies.

[In lieu of salt fish.]

Warm milky strong tea is what you drink anytime between late morning and late evening as an invigorating shot of caffeine, with your macaroni in soup, with spam and little cabbage. Or toasted pineapple bun with melted butter and luncheon meat. Or a plate of hot buttered piggy buns.
Not, as of this writing, augmented with chili.
Maybe soon, but not yet.
And no capers.

A very dear pipe-smoking friend, whom I only know on Facebook, proudly asserts that she could eat an entire jar of capers.

She is obviously not Cantonese.

If she and her spouse ever visit the West Coast, I will be torn between introducing them to Chinatown snacks, and simply providing them with tonnes of capers. But they must have the milk tea.
Sometime in the afternoon.

I really think that anchovies, capers, and chilies belong in nearly everything, with or without baked substances.
But that's just me.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


Jacky said...


Anonymous said...

The Cantonese are not like the Szechuanese. A few drops of Sriracha are more than enough. The Viets and Thais, of course, are insane.

Search This Blog


One of the all-time best lines I ever wrote on this blog was "there is no rampant perversion here, I need to stress that". Friends...