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Showing posts from March, 2017

Constituencies, wards and local councils

Constituencies (a.k.a. parliamentary constituencies): each electing one Member of Parliament (MP) every 5 years to the House of Commons (Parliament). There are 650 constituencies in the UK.Wards (a.k.a. electoral divisions or electoral wards) is the primary unit of English electoral geography for borough and district councils, county councils or city councils. Each ward elects either one or two councillors to be members of the local council. There were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK and each ward has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward population can vary substantially.Local council is made up of a number of Councillors (Cllr) who meet regularly to make decisions about the direction of the council and the work it does for the community. As elected bodies local councils are responsible to their local community. Attending a council meeting is the best way to find out what they do and how they make decisions. Members of public can attend public council meetin…

Italian Tortellini and Chinese Jiaozi

I am not a big fan of Jiaozi dumpling, but when I notice the familiar shape of Italian Tortellini, I still felt glad of finding another similar western food. There are two kinds of Tortellini on the supermarket shelf, one filling is spinach and ricotta cheese, another bacon and ham. I don’t expect fillings like pork mince and garlic chives or cabbages as we usually do in China.

During the research, I found that there are other varieties similar as Chinese Jiaozi along the Silk Road from Korea in the east to Italia in the west, all the way cross the Siberian Plain and turns at Middle East to India in the south west, such as Korean Mandu, Japanese Gyoza, Siberian pelmeni, Italian Tortellini and Ravioli, Turkish Manti, and Indian Gujia (also called gujhia). There are no questions that Mandu and Manti are cognate words, while Gyoza, Jiaozi, and Gujia are cognate words from another origin. Pelmeni is originated from Tartar Pilmän.

The Korean word Mandu was derived from Chinese Mantou, whic…

Youtiao and Yorkshire Pudding

Youtiao literally means ‘oil stick’, is a long golden-brown deep-fried strip of dough, it’s twisted like a cruller and so made that you can tear it lengthwise in two halves. If crullers are described as resembling "a small, braided torpedo", then I would say Youtiao is a mini "finger of God" tornado twister.
Youtiao is eaten at breakfast, as an accompaniment for rice congee, soy milk, or stuffed inside a roasted flatbread to make a sandwich.

We really missed this for breakfast in the first year in the UK, youtiao was one of the reason for homesick. One day we found Yorkshire Pudding, which is mainly flour-based and fried, with its similar texture and its golden colour, but it seems totally different kind of food judged by its round cup shape.

Oven-baked for four minutes till it’s crispy when dipped into soy source, Yorkshire Pudding tastes exactly same as Youtiao and perfect with rice congee, and soy milk too!