Tag Archives: Chinese food

Lunar New Year Recap: Mostly Good, Some Bad, All Festivity

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2605625_165905024_2Disclaimer: because of the close relationship the author has with the organizers and performers of this event, the article may be a little (or a lot) biased.

Even though the actual Lunar New Year (Year of the Horse!) has come and gone (the actual date was Jan. 30th, talking about “belated”), this Lunar New Year celebration last night co-hosted by almost all Asian student groups in Wesleyan still stirred up some festivity in this drizzly weather. Hosted annually, a Lunar New Year festival is becoming part of the Wesleyan tradition for most Asian students and for the entire Wesleyan community.

The ticket sale went very well, according to the organizer Tian Qiao ’15, one of the co-chairs of the Chinese Cultural Club, selling well beyond 100 tickets before the event. At $5, each person gets to enjoy a whole series of performances and a delicious meal. No wonder the event is sold out almost every year!

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Decorated with red lanterns, Beckham hall was dressed in Chinese red, the classic color of Spring Festival. The sight of fesitivity coupled with the sweet smell of food instantly put smile on everyone’s face. A nice touch by the hosts, there were paper and scissors and scotch tapes on each table, with instructions on how to make a paper lantern. It was an easy and fun project, and taught the guests a little about this old Chinese craft. People experimented with it and chattered away as they waited for the show to begin.

Spicy Food Contest @ Chinese House

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From Lynn Ma ’16:

CAN YOU HANDLE THE HEAT?!?! Chinese House invites you to the first program of the year (open to the entire Wes community) “SPICY FOOD CONTEST”!!! Chi House will serve some spicy dishes, inspired by distinct regional Chinese cuisines, and give out prizes to people who can handle the spiciness! The amount of food will be limited so arrive on time if you want to enter in the contest!

Date: Tomorrow, September 27th
Time: 6-7pm
Place: Chinese House, 34 Lawn Ave. (Across from the Butts)
Cost: Super free

EAST Majors Open House

Find out what the East Studies major is all about. Meet the professors and other students who are also interested in East Asian studies. Take advantage of the Mansfield Freeman Center’s art gallery, meditation room and Japanese garden while enjoying a Chinese food buffet in the seminar room. Come for the food, stay for the atmosphere and learn about what makes EAST and the Mansfield Freeman Center the shining star of Wesleyan University.

Date:   Thursday, Feb 10
Time:   Noon – 1:00 PM
Place:  Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies

East Asian Studies Open House

Interested in East Asian Studies at Wes? Or just really want some free Chinese buffet? Either way, this is probably of interest:

East Asian Studies open house is tonight. Meet the professors, find out what this major is all about. Get involved in our Outreach Program, or the student publication, Resonance. Learn about the lecture series. Come for the food, stay for the atmosphere. Enjoy the Japanese garden and tatami room. Check out the art gallery. You will thoroughly enjoy this unique space on campus. Chinese food  buffet will be served.

  • Date: September 16 (today)
  • Time: 4:30 PM
  • Place: Mansfield Freeman Study for East Asian Studies
  • Cost: On us, bro.

Deep FryDay

Tomorrow, on Friday October 3, Keep Wesleyan Weird will be holding a deep fry sale.

We’ve got a deep fryer–it’s called Fry Daddy. We’ve got chocolate bars. We’ll deep fry anything else you bring us [within reason–no babies]. $1. Usdan bottom floor. We’ll be open 11 – 8. Come by and deep fry something!

Date: Friday, October 3rd
Time: 11am – 8pm
Location: Usdan

MSG Secrets Revealed

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has the common stigma of being this insidious food additive that makes otherwise unremarkable food delicious… but also somehow slowly kills you. For years since Chinese food became a takeout dietary staple, people have complained of feeling the effects of “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome“, which vaguely includes headache, flushing, and sweating, after eating at Chinese restaurants.

It turns out there’s never actually been evidence linking MSG use to long-term negative effects, and the whole issue came from a spurious few isolated cases blown way out of proportion in the ’70s – as explained in this article about why MSG is not that bad.

MSG was discovered in 1908 by a Japanese scientist, and was used as a common flavor enhancer and preservative in the Western hemisphere since the 1950s. However, it was tagged as a toxin when a doctor complained in the New England Journal of Medicine that he always felt sick after eating American Chinese food and decided that the MSG commonly used to flavor it must be to blame. This report blew up and started a health scare, and MSG use was driven underground by a paranoid public which demanded that its takeout be MSG-free.

But most restaurants kept using at least a little bit to flavor food, and many still continue to.

The active ingredient in MSG is glutamate, a neurotransmitter responsible for the “fifth flavor”, umami, which translates most closely as savory. Foods like meat, shellfish, cheese, egg yolks, shiitake mushrooms, and nori seaweed in sushi all have naturally high umami levels, as do ketchup and ramen noodles.

Respectable scientists say that glutamate is “just like salt and sugar, it exists in nature, it tastes good at normal levels, but large amounts at high concentrations taste strange and aren’t that good for you.” So feeling sick after eating a lot of takeout is comparable to eating a lot of donuts or a lot of salt & vinegar potato chips in one sitting.

Goldfish crackers, Pringles, and Doritos all contain MSG, and MSG-related protein concentrates are found in everything from ice cream, canned tuna, canned soups, and pretty much anything cheese- or ranch-flavored. And of course, many chefs (especially in Asian cuisines) continue to use at least a little MSG flavoring.

So next time you’re eating an especially delicious Drunken Noodle at Typhoon or General Tso’s Chicken from any takeout place in America, know that it’s probably the MSG making the tastebuds benignly explode in your mouth.

[EDIT: Typhoon does display an “MSG-Free” sign, but that drunken noodle is almost unnaturally delicious (not that I’m complaining):

“Maggi sauce (there are various other Maggi products, not all of which contain MSG) is extremely popular in regions as far-flung as India, Mexico, the Philippines and the Ivory Coast. One of Thailand’s favorite late-night street foods, pad kee mao, or drunkard’s noodles, relies on its sweet-salty-meaty taste; the Malaysian version is called Maggi goreng.”]

S&C Menu

all of your delicioustummyfeelinks are belong to Star Crescent.
Monday
Dinner: house salad, meatloaf or veggieloaf (vegan), seasonal vegetable, mashed potatoes, apple pizza

Tuesday
Lunch: Fish Puttu (Indian fish curry prepared with tilapia) or vegetable korma (vegan), dal, basmati rice, raita, chutney, Indian sweet
Dinner: BBQ pork chops or tofu (vegan), collard greens, mac & cheese, cornbread, blueberry peach cobbler

Wednesday
Lunch: kibbeh (lamb or vegetarian version of this Lebanese bulgur based pie – vegan available), chickpea salad, milk pudding
Dinner: tortilla soup, enchiladas (chicken or vegetarian) or STEAK, rice and beans, churros

Thursday
Lunch: Ants Climbing Trees (Chinese noodle dish with pork or vegan version), seasonal vegetable, almond custard
Dinner:house salad, French farmhouse chicken or tofu or TUNA STEAK (for the price of two meals), steamed new potatoes, seasonal vegetable, banana cake

Republican receives Chinese food honors

Apparently, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has taken a liking to one Middletown Chinese food restaurant. So much so, that the establishment has been renamed in his honor. Wesleyan, meet Frist Wok, serving the Best Chinese Food In Town:

You’d think that, with Over 20 Years Experience, they’d know how to spell the name of their restaurant correctly. But then again, maybe my expectations are just too high.