Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节, zhōngqiūjié) lands on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, relatively near the autumnal equinox; in 2014, it falls on September 5. Also sometimes called Mooncake Festival, it is a public holiday in China and Taiwan on which families gather to give offerings to the full moon, float sky lanterns and eat mooncakes (月饼, yuèbing). Continue »
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In the lead-up to the 2010 World Expo, the government tore down one of Shanghai’s most famous food streets, Wujiang Lu, so the city would appear more “civilized” in the eyes of businesspeople and tourists visiting from around the world. Sparkling cookie-cutter international brands replaced family-run hawker stalls, and Wujiang Lu’s fried bun purveyors and stinky tofu vendors were scattered across the city. Continue »
In typical Shanghai fashion, good things come to those willing to stand in the longest lines, or to pre-book the farthest in advance. We’ve seen the queue for braised duck at Guang Ming Cun swell to several hours long during the Chinese New Year, and A Da’s scallion pancakes require a minimum hourlong wait on most days, yet we had never expected the same for the humble zòngzi (粽子). Continue »
Unwieldy English restaurant names often lose a lot in translation. Take Zhu Que Men, or “The Gate of the Vermillion Bird.” The name, which draws on Chinese astrology and Taoism, might seem a little highfalutin’ for a home-style noodle joint, but the subtext speaks volumes. Continue »
Mexico City’s southern neighborhood of Coyoacán, once a separate town outside the city limits, is now a popular area with cobblestone lanes full of art galleries, museums, restaurants and flea markets. For us, though, the real allure of the neighborhood is the opportunity to visit Tostadas Coyoacán, a marketplace restaurant that elevates the humble tostada to dizzying culinary heights. Continue »
Shanghai’s hottest summer on record is officially behind us, which can mean only one thing: Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner. Zhōngqiū jié (中秋节) is that memorable time of year when Chinese people gift (and regift) bite-sized treats known as mooncakes (月饼, yuèbǐng). Continue »
The first thing we noticed about Lukumas, a well-loved Greek doughnut shop in Gràcia, was its creative graphic identity. That should come as no surprise given that Petros Paschalidis, who opened the place in 2010, is in fact a graphic designer. He designed its stylish interior as well as Lukumas’s logo, a rendering of a paunchy, mustachioed vendor peddling lukumas, traditional Greek round sugar doughnuts. Continue »