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Showing posts from September, 2013

To Eat or Not to Eat 吃還是不吃

That is the question.
Exotic animals and their body parts have always been an integral part of Chinese cuisine. They run the gamut from the pangolin (穿山甲) and the Himalayan palm civet (果子狸) to bear’s paw and swallow’s spit. In terms of universal appeal and indispensability, few things come close to the venerable shark’s fin soup.
The tradition of making soups using dorsal and pectoral fins from tiger sharks can be traced all the way back to the Ming imperial kitchen some 400 years ago. At any given Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong, whether it is a wedding banquet or a corporate function, a feast is not a feast without the obligatory soup served on a twelve-course menu between the steamed grouper and the crispy chicken. Omitting the soup, on the other hand, will not only disappoint and offend guests, but also stir up rumors of financial ruin shrouding the host for years to come. Contrary to common belief in the West, shark’s fin soup is much more than a luxury. It is as much a part of…

As You LIKE It 人人讚好

Social media are the greatest invention of the 21st Century, not least because they provide ready fillers for life’s many dull moments. The virtual world is the perfect antidote to our real life drudgery. Bring on the mile-long taxi line, the interminable Monday morning meeting and even the deadly silent treatment from an upset spouse. All we need to do is whip out our phones, drop our heads and, with a flick of the thumb, wade through stream after mind-numbing stream of news feeds and tweets. In the parallel universe of restaurant check-ins, vacation selfies and baby videos, we are the celebrities and we are the groupies. No one wants to admit it, but many of us have started to reorganize our lives based on how the status update would look on our carefully manicured timeline.

It is therefore all the more important to observe proper online decorum and protect our virtual image. The idea that anything goes in Cyberspace, or that a random post is as consequence-free as tossing a bottl…