I’ve been trying to eat healthier things these days, and one of the things that I’ve been trying to cut down on is gluten. I don’t have a gluten allergy or intolerance, and I’m certainly not going to give up bread. However, some people think that we would all feel better physically if we cut down on the gluten a bit anyway, so I’m giving it a shot. I picked up some cellophane noodles (otherwise known as mung bean noodles) at my local Asian market with the idea that they would be healthier for me. After checking out the nutritional information online, I’m not so sure that they are. They have more calories, more carbs, and seemingly less intrinsic value as a nutritional source than regular old wheat noodles. That said, they are gluten-free, so they have that going for them. Oh, and they are also wonderful to eat.
Once upon a time, I went a birthday dinner of a friend at Grand Sichuan in New York City. There were about ten people in attendance and the meal consisted of a giant pot of simmering broth over a table side propane burner into which we dipped all manner of delicacies both familiar (raw vegetables, beef, pork) and unfamiliar (fish balls, tripe, dried bean curd, unidentifiable sea food). We devoured our meal, sweating and coughing at the intense heat generated by hundreds of hot peppers floating in the broth. The service was terrible and there wasn’t enough water to cool our burning mouths, but it was one of the most memorable meals I’ve had.