2010年2月8日月曜日

another first time fabulous foreign foodie friend experience

Since coming to Japan I have eaten so many foods I had never eaten before. And I don't mean tofu, seaweed or burdock root. I mean things like chilli dogs, refried beans, tarte au tatin, spinach dip, quesadilla, soft shell tacos, paneer curry, feijoada, dal, cinnamon buns and mango chutney. Yum... It's funny because I thought I was a pretty wide-palated person yet I had never eaten any of those things.

I owe my boss for a lot of my foodie firsts. Not only is he an amazing cook but he's generous to boot. Today he introduced me to Gumbo. I have to admit that if I didn't know his food by reputation I wouldn't have been quite so excited about the supersize ziplock bag of khaki coloured lumpy mystery soup. But excited I was and disappointed I wasn't. Gumbo is good! It's spicy, fragrant, thick, meaty and just plain yummy. Weird thing is he used some of the tomato sauce we made last summer. That surprised me as the finished product tasted nothing like my usual tomato sauce based dishes. Then again I didn't taste my tomatoes in the paneer curry either. Hmmm, I think I have a new idea for an Anthony Bourdain style cooking show- send me around the world to exotic and exciting locations with a jar of tomato sauce as a hostess gift and see what people make with it.... definite possibilities and I would be way less trouble for network lawyers/ producers than Bourdain!

Anyway, it seems the longer I'm here in one of the many less exotic restaurant blessed areas of Japan the bigger my circle of fabulous foreign foodie friends. I feel really lucky to know all these people from far-flung food cultures taking on the challenge of cooking the food they love with the ingredients they have.

And then I realised I'm not holding up my end of the fabulous foreign foodie friend bargain. Seems a lot of people haven't discovered the wonder that is damper yet. And so: damper.

At it's simplest it's just flour, (1 cup) water, (1/4 cup) baking powder (a bit) and salt (a pinch). It's campfire bread. It's camping under the stars bread. You can cook it in a dutch oven, wound around a stick or just make a hollow in the ashes, through the dough in and pile more ash on top. Scrape the ash off, tap the damper, when it sounds hollow it's done, flick off the ash, rip it open and eat. Yummmmmm... If you're feeling fancy you can serve it with butter, honey, golden syrup, jam or use it to sop up stew or soup. Yummmm.

Ahhh, fabulous foreign foodie friend balance restored I can await my next culinary epiphany with a clean conscious...


6 件のコメント:

achan さんのコメント...

Heather does your damper really have 1/4 CUP of baking pwder??????? I have never used that much in all my AUSSIE life.

Give thanks for wonderful foreign friends who make yummmmmmmy food.

thefukases さんのコメント...

NO NO NO!!!! That really would be revolting and not at all delicious! I put the quantities after the product so it is 1/4 cup water and a bit of baking powder. I really have no idea how much I use- I just wish we had self-raising flour here!

Nay さんのコメント...

I agree with you Heather about the self raising flour - wouldn't life be just so much easier!!

And I can't believe you tried soft tacos for the first time in Japan!! That made me laugh until I realised that you have been in Japan a lot longer than I have, lol!

Your description of the damper left my mouth watering btw - YUM!

achan さんのコメント...

Sorry Heather!! The commas threw me there that is why I thought it 1/4 C baking powder.

Have you ever put your damper on top of stew and cooked it there like dumplings? That's yum too

Mande's J-Life さんのコメント...

I do remember damper from the old girl scout days. Ah, life was simple then. We didn't call it damper though. I think we called "ashy bread on a stick thing."
Thanks for bringing back some nice childhood memories.

Coffeegrl さんのコメント...

Ahhh! Damper! I loved this (and yet somehow managed to completely forget it until just now) when I was in Melbourne (ummm it was almost 15 years ago so I hope that makes the memory loss understandable!). Also, I've been thinking lately about the crumpet recipe you posted a while back. I'm totally going to try some one of these days. I'm not sure we have a biscuit maker (or ring) so it may have to wait until I'm back in the US but I'm totally craving them! Also, we're planning on making some gumbo and jambalaya next week. It's Fat Tuesday (aka: Shrove Tuesday) in New Orleans and I love to eat some good cajun food to celebrate! (I have no connection to New Orleans or cajun cooking except that I love to eat it!). Glad you got to try some - esp. with your own tomatoes!!