Friday, August 01, 2008

Tasty Flushing Food Tour

video
video made up of screen shots from the tasty food tour combined with a tastless audio track
a segment from the original article in the nytimes
Let the Meals Begin: Finding Beijing in Flushing, By JULIA MOSKIN
SEATED at a rickety table, saltshaker poised above a bowl of delicate chicken-and-ginseng soup, the young Taiwanese woman considered a question: why not use soy sauce? “Soy sauce is so American,” she said finally. “It makes everything taste the same.” Everything tastes different in Flushing, Queens, the best neighborhood in New York for tasting the true and dazzling flavors of China. The dumplings are juicier here, the noodles springier, the butter cookies flavored with a bit of salty green seaweed, as a cookie at a French bakery might be sprinkled with fleur de sel. The perfume of roasted Sichuan peppercorns and the sound of dough slapping against countertops lures visitors down to the neighborhood’s subterranean food malls, where each stall consists of little more than a stove and a specialty: slow-cooked Cantonese healing soups; fragrant, meaty Sichuanese dan dan noodles; or Fujianese wontons, no bigger than a nickel, that spread their fronds in clear broth.
“I remember when you could count the number of Chinese restaurants in Flushing on one hand, and all of them were Cantonese,” said Tai Ma, owner of the Nan Shian Dumpling House, who has been in the restaurant business in Queens for 18 years. The number of Flushing residents born in China has doubled since 1990, according to census figures. And those immigrants have become more geographically diverse, said Pyong Gap Min, a professor of sociology at Queens College of the City University of New York.
“From the 1970s until recently, the Taiwanese dominated Flushing, along with Koreans,” he said. “Now it is people from all over mainland China.” Fujian, on the southeast coast, is still the primary source of immigrants to New York, he said, but many who arrive from there actually have roots in the north, center and west of China.

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