Chapter 49: Introduction to italian cuisine
Translated by me, edited by Kai.
When most people think of italian cuisine, what is the first thing they think of? Pasta, pizza, …., pizza, pasta, …
Apart from these two, there are also a lot of other dishes in italian cuisine. Italians can’t always live off of these two. Jiang Hai hasn’t been to the real Italy, but there is definitely a lot of choices in the italian restaurant in Boston.
This restaurant, Italian gourmet, is a very well known italian restaurant in the area. Of course, Jiang Hai and the group have been here before so they are pretty familiar with the menu here.
“Let’s first have 8 cheddar chowders, a whole fried squid, oh right it’s fried cuttlefish, fried clams, 8 crab stuffed mushrooms, 2 Milanese veal shoulders, 2 veal scallopini, and 8 ham cheese steak. What do you guys want for the main course?” Looking at the menu in front of him, Jiang Hai immediately ordered a bunch. Most of these stuff are all either italian signature dishes or it’s what the restaurant is famous for.
“We’ll have some black pasta.” Answered Robins after confirming with everyone else.
“Then 8 servings of black pasta.” Jiang Hai stated to the waiter beside him.
Having finished ordering everything for now, the waiter left respectfully with the menus. Not long later, Philemon’s wife arrived and everyone finally got together, before long their dishes are ready. First up is the appetizer soup, cheddar chowder. This type of soup is generally prepared in batches, hence unlimited refills. In the Boston region, you can find these types of chowders everywhere. However instead of cheddar, it’s made with potatoes, fresh clams and some seasonal vegetables. Combining the flavours of the deep sea and the sweetness from the seasonal vegetables; you get the world renown Boston clam chowder.
After that came the appetizers and sides. The fried clams are just simply deep fried fresh clams with a crust. Add on a bit of sweet and sour sauce and it makes for a great appetizer.
Carb stuffed mushrooms is a side dish, but it is served on large individual plates. A large mushroom stuffed to the brim with crab meat and cheese. After baking, the cheese melts and mixes with the crab meat; making it a wonderful side to enjoy.
Fried cuttlefish is just fried squid rings, except it’s just named differently in different areas. This is just like using different cuts of beef to make roast beef. The end product is all the same, but it’s just named differently. Squeeze on a bit of lemon juice and it brings out the wonderful flavours that were hidden away.
Veal scallopini is this stores specialty; a dish that came from the store’s boss’s home town of Milan. First take some veal with celery, onions, bay leaves and spices, and cook until it becomes soft with white wine. After letting it cool off, it is served with a paste made of mashed squid and other types of fishes. The combination of beef and seafood is simply amazing.
Veal shoulders is prepared by cutting a veal shoulder into chunks, then letting it slowly cook with wine, tomatoes, and spices. Of course, the best part of this dish in Jiang Hai’s opinion isn’t the meat itself. Rather it is the marrows within the bones.
Ham cheese steak is just what it sounds like. Ham, cheese, and steak seared together. This is a dish solely made up of meat. This is also the dish that Jiang Hai was looking forward to the most; mainly due to its huge portions.
Lastly but not least came the main course, the black pasta. The dish itself is pretty good; it is most comparable with the buckwheat noodle dishes in China. The only difference is that it is bit bitter and you choose the sauce; but still taste great.
Most Americans love their sauces. Seafood sauce, ketchup, Mexican barbecue sauce, sweet and spicy sauces, and so on. If you can name them, they probably will have it. However, having eaten sweet and sour stuff day in and day out, Jiang Hai has had enough. Although he liked the sweet and sour taste when in China with food such as twice cooked pork, stir fried pepper and pork and so on. But now all he wants is something that isn’t sweet or sour, as such he had his pasta with only some butter, lemon juice and mexican hot sauce.
To be fair, when someone mentions hot peppers, most chinese will probably refuse to accept the truth. This is because people from the Sichuan area, Hunan province, and the South China area live off of hot peppers. However, in the international scene, the hottest pepper in China, the yellow lantern, isn’t even ranked on the world’s spiciest pepper chart.
First on the chart is a british chili. It is called the naga viper, where a bite will send you to the hospital. Previously, Jiang Hai heard of a story where someone who grew up in the Sichuan region decided to take the naga challenge. However after a single bite, he was sent to the hospital. A seriously deadly chilli.
Second on the chart is also a british chili. The trinidad scorpion butch T, a breed of the trinidad moruga scorpion. When preparing this chili, a gas mask is a must be worn because a whiff of this is also enough to send someone to the hospital.
Third on the list is India’s bhut jolokia, also commonly known as ghost pepper. This pepper was originally used as a fence against animals in rural communities. Since a single pepper of this kind is enough to make an elephant cry, then how about a human being?
Fourth is Mexico’s habanero. This is 3 times as spicy as the China’s yellow lantern, and 20 times that of the facing heaven pepper. This species of pepper is only available dried and is banned from selling fresh because it is just too spicy. The hot sauce Jiang Hai is currently using has a bit of habanero, although it is just less than 5%, but it is still spicy enough.
This meal was satisfying for everyone. After having paid the bills, everyone left for home.
A specific mention needs to be made here. In most restaurants in America, chain fast food restaurant excluded, tips are paid separately from the food. The amount of tips is generally a percentage of the bill ranging between 10 to 15 percent. But the specifics depend on your mood and the waiter’s attitude.
However, because Jiang Hai just has too much money, he normally always gives 15% tips. As such this entire meal costed him $320, however $370 with tips.
When they finally returned the estate, everyone went back to their homes and retired for the night. Although everyone at the Green Forest is asleep, but an unfortunate soul is probably going to have to pull an all nighter. Moses Adams, being American Express’s recommended lawyer, must display his abilities in front of wealthy individuals like Jiang Hai to strive to secure a regular client. Stuff like this might seem small for the wealthy, but there are many places where a lawyer can be helpful.
For example, stuff like labor and management disputes, large mergers, sales, purchases and so on. Even for stuff like an accounting company’s accounting services, they can also help out. Even if a wealthy individual like Jiang Hai has no issues nothing all year round, just by being their fixed lawyer, they will still get several tens of thousands as income.
There is no way any lawyer will let go of chances like this. After all, in America, an average middle class family’s annual income is only several tens of thousands. Because of this, after he left Winthrop, he didn’t head back to Boston. Rather, he went to New York city and filed his lawsuit against Winthrop police, Boston police and Massachusetts police from there. Of course, Faraday and his group also meet their just desserts. Due to the video evidence in his hands and because this matter involves state workers, the FBI responded immediately.
Most lawsuit’s charges are generally all talk but no bite. After all, it’s just like what was vidoe taped. Under the free information act, all state officials have their income available to the public. Even an excess of a couple dollars will easily have people questioning where it came from. Now that they are clearly taking bribes, how can the FBI not make a move immediately?
In America, normally the police don’t dare to take anyone’s money. Because if you take someone’s money, then there is no guarantee that they wouldn’t sue you after what they’ve done what you’ve asked them to do. Not only do you have to return the bribe, but also include extra hush money.
If someone gives you money and you report them, then not only will you have no problems, but the other party might even be sentenced to jail by the court. Plus, you might also be able to receive some rewards for this. Regarding this, people in China generally consider this too inhumane as everything involves money.
However due to this, the corruption situation in America is still controllable. Since most of a politician’s income comes from governmental contributions and some merchants. For example, when they want to sell a piece of land, then they will sell this information to people who can contest for it. However they won’t reveal for how much, but only what is for sale. This way the competitors have time to prepare the money required to buy this piece of land. Just from this alone, state officials can get a nice income. They won’t even consider reporting these people because the rewards for reporting them just isn’t worth the effort.
As such, they generally are too afraid to take these benefits. Hence this is only bullshit made up from that idiot officer. Because they can be cleared of these matters with just some quick checks. Hence when these officials heard the news of this, they only felt a bit of inconvenience but that is about it.
However, Winthrop’s police force is a different matter altogether. Since the criminal here is part of their police force, so if they say they aren’t a part of this, then who will believe them?
There is an old saying in China, subordinates follow the example of their superiors. Although America doesn’t have idioms like this, but the meaning behind them is still clear.
Kai: I want some of the dishes mentioned at the start ❤ (I’ll be generous and give PGT all the peppers :3)
Tl: While I was translating this, I actually went and made pasta during it to satisfy my raging hunger. On a side note, NO, NO, GOD! PLEASE NO!!! NOOOOOOOOOO.