I recently tasted kumquats for the first time. It was a deliciously intense experience. I became interested in trying kumquats after watching some moms give their little kids some to snack on. The moms were happily munching away at the fruit while the kids made the best sour faces I’ve ever seen and immediately spat them out. Their little faces were all puckered up, brows furrowed, eyes squinted tightly shut, and cheeks turned inward. It was hilarious and I knew I had to give kumquats a try.
After I bought some kumquats I had to do a little research to figure out how to eat them. Turns out it’s pretty simple, just pop the whole thing in your mouth. Kumquats are a citrus fruit about the size of a grape, so it’s not a big mouthful. But that tiny fruit packs a punch. The outer rind has a very delicate sweet flavor and the inside flesh is extremely tart. Together they balance out to a nice sweet-and-sour flavor.
The taste took some getting used to but I really began to love the extreme flavor. Plus, they have an amazingly refreshing aftertaste. I love trying out new fruits; if you haven’t experienced kumquats, give them a try sometime!
Berkeley has many culinary treasures but one of my favorite is brunch at the Thai Buddhist Temple. It is a unique experience that draws a huge crowd every Sunday. Thai brunch is a fundraiser for the temple but it has become a Berkeley institution. It is extremely popular and tops the list of places to take visitors to give them a real Berkeley experience.
The food is served cafeteria style in a courtyard behind the temple. There is a wide selection to choose from and it is all tasty and cheap. Tents, folding tables, and chairs make up the dining area but it is often so crowded that diners spill into the front yard to sit in the grass. It is a bit chaotic but it’s a lot of fun. The temple is tucked in a neighborhood in South Berkeley and I am lucky enough to live around the corner!
This weekend my friends Stephanie and Dakota came over from San Francisco to have a taste of Thailand with me. We got there late, so there were long lines and they were starting to run out of entrees but we were still able to get a good selection of vegetarian curries. Seating was limited, so we took the food back to my apartment to enjoy it on the back porch. It has been unseasonably warm and sunny, so it was a great day for some porch sittin’. The lovely weather and sharing good food with friends made for an excellent Sunday.
If you’re ever in Berkeley on Sunday, I recommend you swing by the temple and give Thai Brunch a try!
Here are some illustrations of delicious things I’ve enjoyed recently. More to come!