Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dim Sum vs. Crab Rangoon

There it was on page 271 of the Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. Right there – “crab rangoon”. I have been thinking for a long time about a blog entry “My dim sum is your crab rangoon” – a blog to discuss how regional food favourites are always so much more delicious and beloved only to the person who lives in the region and who promotes the fabulous “you must try this” item.

Whenever anyone comes to visit Vancouver, there are a few regional favourites that must be sampled: BBQ’ed salmon, dim sum at one of the zillion Chinese restaurants in Vancouver, sushi, fresh halibut and chips prepared on the fishing docks, White Spot Hamburgers, fresh crab from Granville Market…….that is just the bare minimum. I am always surprised when visitors don’t just LOVE dim sum or don’t have the same devotion to a White Spot Hamburger.

Instead of loving dim sum, my American visitors always bemoan the fact that there is no such thing as Crab Rangoon in Vancouver. Crab Rangoon? What is that?? There isn’t a Kansan I have met who doesn’t love Crab Rangoon – an eggroll wrapped cream cheese and crab appetizer (served usually with a sweet and sour sauce).

When I went to St. Louis recently, my friend Beth made sure we had a few KC favourites – Kansas City Steaks (yum) and Toasted Ravioli. Toasted Ravioli? What is that?? This appetizer consists of breaded and fried ravioli, served with marinara sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. She also made sure we tested White Castle hamburgers – our trip would not have been complete without sampling these iconic little slider burgers.

Regional favourites are comfort foods really – foods that make you happy you live where you live. Foods that make you happy to be with your family and friends. My love for dim sum is equal to your love of Crab Rangoon or toasted ravioli. White Castle hamburgers vs. White Spot hamburgers? Don’t even try to moderate that argument. The important thing: I will continue to take my visitors to taste all those foods and treats from my life in Vancouver – and I will continue to try yours too.

Here are some things that Kansans like (that aren’t things beloved in Vancouver):
Iced Tea (everywhere, all the time)
Chicken Fried Steak (haven't tried it
Crab Rangoon (don't diss anyone's crab rangoon)
Fried Chicken
(homemade kind - served everywhere)
Biscuits and White Gravy (hands down
breakfast favourite here)
Fried Okra (hmmmm)
Fried Catfish (in cornmeal
coating - everyone loves it)

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