Everyone is talking about ramen, and there’s a ramen shop in almost every East Bay neighborhood. But what about all the other delicious Asian soups out there with the same soul-warming potential? Here are ten soups (at eight venues) you might not have thought of.
My passion is exploring the connection between food and culture. I write regularly for Oakland and Alameda Magazines and Berkeleyside's NOSH. My blog, East Bay Ethnic Eats, gives me an excuse to track down the only Bay Area baker making fresh filo dough or learn to stuff a dried eggplant with help from a Turkish immigrant. Culture is the thread that ties together my several careers. As a sign language interpreter, educator and author, my study of Deaf culture has taken me around the world, where I fell madly in love with seed-strewn Danish bread, attacked platters of French shellfish with a small arsenal of tools and sampled a Japanese breakfast so fresh it wiggled. I'm also an epicurean concierge for Edible Excursions Japan town tours (that I lead in either English or ASL). And when I conduct in-depth cultural trainings for foreign workers being transferred to the Bay Area, I am sure to discuss the delights of doggie bags and the mystery of American restaurants serving ice water in the dead of winter. I can be found tweeting @EBEthniceats
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A tasting tour of SF Japantown with Edible Excursions offers a dozen sweet and savory samples of not the usual sushi and tempura. Learn about and nibble mochi, okonomiyaki pancake, taiyaki fish shaped pastries, seaweed salads, onigiri rice balls and sweet potato lattes.
To help combat exponential increases in hunger and demand for food assistance, the Alameda County Community Food Bank feeds 49,000 people a week. Its volunteers range from school children to retired Stanford University professors. They bag fresh produce, sort cans and fill boxes with essential foodstuffs.
Berkeley’s Nordic House offers Danes, Swedes and Norwegians many tastes of home. Holiday foods hold a special place in Scandinavian hearts and Nordic House carries glogg, aeblskiver and rice pudding mixes plus Swedish brined hams, Norwegian pork ribs and Danish pork with crispy skin.
Mozzeria, a new deaf-owned Italian restaurant, will bring wood fired pizza to the Mission. Owners Melody and Russell Stein have imported a 5000-pound Stefano Ferrara oven from Napoli and will serve pizza, pasta and small plates in their cozy new eatery — where both deaf and hearing patrons can dine comfortably in a mix of vintage and modern styles.
Want to learn to whip up a fiery Ethiopian stew, sublime Italian greens, lively Russian piroshki or zesty Malaysian noodles? A cornucopia of ethnic cooking classes are waiting for you in kitchens sprinkled all over the Bay Area. Here’s a round-up of ten local ethnic cooking classes rich with flavor and tradition.