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Pizza Hypnosis

Last term I was recommended pizza from the White Rabbit pub by a friend. I had walked past it on many occasions, and observed its boast of serving “gourmet artisan pizza”, but not being a fan of pub grub, had passed the opportunities to eat there. But now here was a recommendation, and my interest was piqued. Continue reading

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Celebrating 7 Helpings of Oxford

Christmas Dinner Cake

Christmas dinner cake from The Cake Shop in the Covered Market

I applied to the University of Oxford because I loved the course, the prestige, and the collegiate system. Also because of the history and architecture of the city. Nothing could have persuaded me to live there more, except if I had known it was also a foodie’s paradise. Continue reading

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Flying Sarsae High

Sarsae

In the first week in my second term of this academic year, my knees were weakened in pleasure by the sight of some cans of Sarsae on the shelves in the Chinese supermarket Lung Wah Chong (41-42 Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford OX1 2EP). Sarsae was my favourite soft drink when I was a child living in Hong Kong, just ahead of Schweppes Cream Soda, and way ahead of Coca Cola and that lot. A Hong Kong brand (from food company Watson) of what is essentially sarsaparilla, I remember it being hard to find, even on the shelves of Chinese supermarkets in China. The summer before, I had been impressed with Nottingham when I visited, just because a tiny corner Chinese supermarket there stocked Sarsae. So I was overjoyed when I came across Sarsae in Oxford, and bought 6 cans in one go. However, my joy was not matched by the 3 friends to whom I gave cans to try. One, a Chinese mainlander, did not like it. Another, an American, found it too similar to good old American root beer. And the third, a Brit, thought it tasted “like medicine”. But drinking my first can early on in the term, I maintain that it still tasted as good as it did in my younger days. This soft drink, unlike Inca Kola, is not reviewed by Soda Tasting, so I hope that I’ve done this soft drink more justice.

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I can’t believe my time at Oxford is almost over, and also that my exams are almost upon me, and so I’ll spend the next few weeks posting about food in Oxford with material that I’ve compiled from times past.

The term ‘molecular gastronomy’ (or ‘molecular and physical gastronomy’ as it was first called) was coined by a Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti from the University of Oxford and the French chemist Hervé This from the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique.

A student at Queen’s College was attacked on Christmas Day by a wild boar. His only weapon at hand was a copy of Aristotle, so he shoved the book down the boar’s throat. Afterwards, he wanted his book back, so he cut off the animal’s head and brought it back to the college where it was served for Christmas dinner, kickstarting the tradition of eating boar’s head for Christmas. I was dubious about the truth behind this story, but my friend from Queen’s says it’s true!