The Asian foods we overlook

Asian food importers tend to stock many things that are greatly underappreciated. Some foreign items take some getting used to, but many seem like a new combination of classic ingredients. A few overlooked culinary items include:

SHINHWA POPCORN: Not to be confused with the band with a similar name, Shinhwa popcorn is different enough from regular (western) popcorn for it to be considered a novelty, but still seem familiar enough for anybody not wanting to be too adventurous.

DUMPLINGS: Not too far removed from the pastries we eat for lunch, Asian dumplings can contain anything from vegetables and pork to kimchi and fried leeks. Try these as finger food at a party and have something beyond frankfurters and traditional pastries.

ICE CREAMS: This might be the best example of cross cultural influence we have; ice cream developed from some frozen desserts in China in about 200 BC, and has been developed further in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Modern Asian ice creams include green tea flavours, sweet corn, watermelon, chocolate and grape, rice, lemon and lime, and the near ubiquitous Red bean paste.

Some ice block popular with Asian food suppliers include:

  • Jaws: Strawberry and orange flavour shaped like a shark.
  • Jewel: Apple and soda flavoured.
  • Mojito: Ice blocks flavoured with white rum, lime, mint.
  • Screw: A twisted ice block with cherry and strawberry.
  • Tank: Pear, Kiwi or other fruits.
  • Rice Ice: Coffee and strawberry ice cream and rice cake combination.
  • Melona Waffle: a fish shaped pastry with ice cream and red bean paste.

NOODLES: We think of noodles as instant food, like instant soup; Japan literally built a museum to the history of noodles. Noddles are made from acorn, mung beans, buckwheat, sweet potato, arrowroot, seaweed, tubers, mugwort, green tea, tofu, soy, tapioca, rice and (of course) wheat. Gluten intolerant individuals will be please to know that some varieties of noodles are suitable for their diet restrictions.

TEA: There are more varieties of tea than we can list here, and all of them have at least some health benefits. Unorthodox teas sometimes require slightly different brewing methods (green tea should be made at 80 degrees and not one hundred), but these are not difficult to achieve, and the results are worth the effort. Many connoisseurs of tea refuse to use conventional tea bags and insist on gunpowder tea or match powder. The difference is remarkable. As tea last a while the gourmet varieties make for good presents.

Asian Food Suppliers Australia have many more food that will probably appeal to Australian buyers.