Between France and Hong Kong, as much to say that the gastronomy is completely different. Exotic foods, combinations of flavors, cooking techniques ... If the plate is not the same, the kitchen as a room in the house also changes. Juliette, an expatriate in Hong Kong and more precisely on the island of Lamma, opened her kitchen for a little visit.
Rendezvous in exotic land
When you imagine Hong Kong, you immediately think of excessive buildings and a hyper-connected country, but that is to reduce this vast territory which also includes islands and mountains. Also just 20 minutes by transport from the modernity of the city, Juliette lives on an island without a car, between the beach and lush vegetation. A lung of the city which however offers some disadvantages because when you live on an island, to offer a real equipped kitchen is expensive and the inhabitants thus opt for more spartan solutions. On the island, most kitchens do not, for example, include a hob on the worktops but rather a space intended to put the latter. In some kitchens, this dedicated worktop is even slightly lower than the conventional worktop, which is not really practical. The camping-style baking sheet is therefore a standard here to which Juliette has finally adapted by putting aside the aesthetic aspect.
Household appliances, another cultural difference
In Chinese cuisine, the oven is not automatic. On the contrary, the Chinese will prefer a microwave but for a Frenchwoman who cooks traditional dishes and loves pastry, it is impossible to do without this element. One of Juliette's first investments was therefore an oven, which is easily found only in small format. And of course, no dedicated location, so he had to improvise.
She also opted for a bread machine in order to keep some of her French culture. Of course there is bread in town but it is not always up to French expectations and is rather expensive. The bread machine allows you to make recipes perfectly suited to the taste of the family and Juliette has a weakness for home-made. So she tastes her bread with homemade jams but also French jams brought back in her suitcases or tasted in delicatessens, a cute sin in short. She often jokes that she will return to France when the jar of jam is finished. On the other hand, in Hong Kong, it is impossible to miss a rice cooker: it is found from the simplest to the most high tech and at all prices. Juliette finally admits to preferring the traditional cooking of rice but continues to use this device to make other recipes such as homemade yogurts because these are quite expensive in Hong Kong which does not really have a dairy culture.
Another must-see in the city: the kettle! Juliette loves that tea is at the center of Hong Kong culture and that it is served systematically in traditional restaurants. She offered herself a traditional Chinese tea service, porcelain being present on every street corner at unbeatable prices. A way to adopt the culture of the country in a very decorative way.
Typical constraints of a foreign country
Cooking in a foreign country requires a lot of adaptation. In addition to the products that we are used to consuming that are not available or much too expensive, some standards are not the same. In Hong Kong and particularly on Lamma Island, humidity is very high. So you need a very efficient ventilation system but also adapt your recipes, cooking time for example.
Another drawback is the quality of the water! The kettle is therefore also used to purify the water and the taps are fitted with a filter which improves its quality. Last constraint, the electrical outlets are not the same, the devices which were brought back from France need an adapter to function.