We continue our tasteTea trek around the world back in my home town of Toronto, Canada, where my friend Renée is waiting to serve us her Earl Grey Mixed Berries Cake (which I had the pleasure of tasting). The tea makes her cake wonderfully aromatic, and the baked berries in the centre lend moisture to the dense exterior. Although she doesn’t have her own blog, it was Renée’s passion for tea that inspired me to choose this month’s tea theme. Her infatuation with good food, particularly with tea, bread, and Japanese snacks, makes me look almost normal in comparison.
Moving onward, we head east to Norwood, Massachusetts where Megan of Treats and Chortles has cooked up a beautiful Brussels Sprout Salad with Tea Oil and Walnuts. After realizing that tea leaves were unlikely to impart their flavour in room temperature oil, she deep fried them in canola oil and blended the mixture together. The result is a most fragrant and delicious tea oil.
Halfway round the world in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Alex of Notions of aC takes inspiration from green tea and serves us a vibrant dish of Prawns in Green Tea with Green Tea Soba Noodles. Taking green tea to the limit, he steeps both his prawns and green tea noodles in green tea. I’d imagine that the tea’s bitterness would contrast very nicely against the sweetness of the prawns.
In Folsom, California, Fethiye of Yogurt Land has been busy making a cook and refreshing Peach Tea Granita. With great care, she brews peach-green tea under the sun, combines it with her neighbour’s fresh peaches and her homegrown mint, and adds a splash of vodka before letting it freeze. The result is a beautiful crystalline granita. The combination of mint and peach are absolutely delicious.
Amidst the humid, hot days of summer, we drive across the country to Richmond, Virginia, where thankfully, Brandon of Brandon Eats has made us a refreshing glass of Iced Tea. While we quench our thirst, Brandon tells us about this age-old concoction in his country. “The US,” he says, “is divided into two iced tea-drinking camps: the sweet tea camp of the south and the unsweetened camp of the north. Virginia, as the northernmost outpost of the south, has always been conflicted about to which camp it owes its allegiance.” With years of experience behind him, Brandon shares with us his secrets for making great iced tea.
Now it’s back on the plane and off to Munich, Germany where the dynamic duo of Nicky and Oliver from Delicious Days have chosen to make two very elegant desserts, Earl Grey Truffles and Earl Grey Gelato. While we indulge ourselves on their delicious sweets, Nicky talks about their love for tea of all kinds, their favourite tea shop, and their passion for collecting tea cups and tea pots. But back to the truffles – at first you might think they’re bitter, but you’ll soon realize that they actually have a wonderful tea flavour. The gelato, on the other hand, has a very distinguished Earl Grey flavour and sweet and light consistency. Two recipes that I simply must try!
Back across the pond, we arrive in Maine where Stephen of Stephencooks has prepared a succulent Tea-Brined Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Raspberry Sauce. While he’s not a frequent tea drinker and rarely cooks with tea, after years of experimenting with various brining mixtures for pork, Stephen has developed a tea brine that adds “a subtle flavor to the meat while tenderizing it.” He serves his pork with a vibrant sauce made from fresh-picked raspberries.
In Spokane, Washington, Jennifer of Taste Everything Once has whipped up a lovely Peach and Blackberry Pavlova with Tea Infused Cream. For those who prefer food on the lighter side, Pavlova is “a dieter’s dream confection” with has limitless potential. In her recipe, Jennifer infuses her cream with Republic Blackberry Sage, before whipping it up and plating it with fresh summer fruits. Simple and absolutely delicious!
Just outside of New York City, we visit Samantha of The Samantha Files, a lifelong tea drinker who’s passion for tea shines through in her writing. Whether she’s in Toronto, London, Boston or New York, she’s sure to find a wonderful place to have a cup of tea. For this month’s IMBB, she’s made a refreshingly delightful Iced Tea Gelatin from Adagio’s Yunnan Jig.
Onward west we fly to beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia where Linda of Kayak Soup is making us a gorgeous dish of Tea-Dusted Lamb Chops. After seasoning her lamb with a coating of powerful and smoky Lapsang Souchong, salt, and pepper, she grills and roasts the chops to perfection. She also adds tea to her red wine and gooseberry sauce, and to top it off, she serves the dish with Swiss chard and British Columbia’s own Pemberton potatoes.
Today’s journey ends with another magnificent feast in Singapore. Aun of Chubby Hubby begins the meal with a succulent and beautifully plated Oolong Tea Steeped Quail Egg and Pork Belly. Then it’s onto the vibrant and tender Sugar Cane and Tea-Smoked Pork Ribs, a dish from the New Shanghai Cuisine cookbook that Aun’s wife, S. helped write. As a fitting end to our meal, S. has prepared a delicious and floral tea-infused Crème Brulée using a tea called A Gentleman of Deauville. A most elegant and delectable meal, captured beautifully on film.