Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ancient Chinese Wisdom

I just got an email from a buddy of mine today, warning against the potentially fatal effects of "Starfruit" juice on people with kidney problems. Wikipedia also has a short paragraph regarding studies done confirming the health risks of consuming juice from the "Starfruit" a.k.a. the Carambola.

I rushed to warn Man Yung during lunch. But I should not have been so worried. Of course Man Yung knows all about the fatal effects of Starfruit juice and naturally he can expound on the rationale behind this based on his extensive knowledge of chinese traditional herbal medicine. That's because Man Yung knows practically everything that Irene doesn't know, and perhaps even everything that Irene thinks she knows that she doesn't really know (quel surprise!)

We've been so busy lately we haven't had time to post about Man Yung's method for stopping a nosebleed (insert green onions into nostrils) - but nevertheless, in the spirit of promoting food safety, Man Yung has generously offered to share his limitless store of information on the following topic:


Lamb with Watermelon

Banana with Sweet Potato/Yam

Tofu with Honey

Peanuts with Cucumber

Mung Bean with Dog Meat (A VERY DANGEROUS COMBINATION, apparently, and not only because of North American animal protection laws)

Fuyu Persimmon with Crab

Peach with Duck

Octopus/Squid with Eggplant

Ling kuo (some sort of black nut like fruit with a hard shell, shaped like bull's horns) and Pork

Mustard greens with Rabbit

Tomato with dried seafood like abalone, conpoy, dried oysters, sea cucumber etc.

Pumpkin with Conch meat/snails

Not that there's anyone we know who would knowingly make dishes out of any of the above delectable-sounding (not) combinations, but people can innocently and easily make a mistake. For example, you may enjoy a lovely main course of lamb stew, and then be presented a refreshing watermelon sorbetto at the end of the meal - with dire consequences.

So what will happen if you happen to eat the aforementioned combinations of ingredients during the course of one meal?

Man Yung didn't have time to elaborate, but I have reason to believe that the effects range from "You won't feel too good", to "Explosion!"*

I recommend that you print this list out, keep it in your wallet at all times, and if someone tries to poison you using any of these food combinations, you will be in on their game in an instant!**

Thank you for reading.

*In the case of dog meat and mung beans. There is anecdotal evidence that a friend of the wife of somebody's cousin once consumed a dog meat stew and then carelessly downed a bowl of steaming sweet mung bean porridge. The mung bean caused a chemical reaction with the dog meat that caused meat to expand uncontrollably while inside the unfortunate individual.... Well, all I can say is "serves you right for eating Fido".

** Less life-threatening but no less stomach-churning and gag-inducing would be some of the music being played at some of the milongas we have been to recently. For example:

A tanda of Lomuto followed by Orquesta Tipica Victor followed by Canaro!

Biagi followed by a tanda of vals followed by Biagi again, and then D'Arienzo!

D'Arienzo from the 30's, 40's and 50's, all in one tanda!

I'd take my chances with Duck a la Peach any day.


tangocherie said...

Listen, here in Buenos Aires where I'm dying for taste thrills, I'd eat all of that stuff on your list at the same meal!!
You want me to reject a delicious flavor just because it comes with a different delicious flavor??
No way!
I am tired, tired, tired of the great red meat and fantastic red wine with salt and maybe lettuce if you're lucky. Let's not even talk about the Master Menu.
But luckily we mostly eat at home, and I have lots of imported Lemon Pepper to keep my taste buds happy!

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Cherie,

We sympathize, it must be tiring to have to eat dishes with the best beef and dairy products in the world day after day after day. It seems like there's nothing but asado out there in Buenos Aires!

We feel the same way about having great chinese food day after day after day, since Toronto is the centre of the chinese universe in Canada. We were actually so bored that we stared at the menu at the restaurant for twenty minutes last night, overcome with food lethargy and unable to choose. We ended up mechanically eating the following:

-Braised pork belly slices with preserved vegetable and lettuce in oyster sauce
-Crispy golden deep fried pork chops with spicy garlic and chili salt
-Sizzling eel stew with whole garlic cloves, fried tofu and bok choy, served in hot pot
-Plain white rice
-about six shots of whiskey on the rocks

Then we went home for coffee, with mango, salted butter caramel and durian ice cream on the side.

Thanks for enjoying our list of dangerous food combinations!

Irene and Man Yung

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