Moving is tricky.
First I lived in Pittsburgh for 18 years. My parents (both) and grandparents (all 4) were born and raised in the area and Mom and Pops still reside there. My remaining Grandma, Sally, moved to Indiana in her 80's and lives there still, at 95 years young!
Somehow, I was bound and determined to leave at 18. Sure, college just 3 hours away (and still within the home state) isn't a HUGE deal. People do it all the time and come right back 4, or 5, years later. Not I - after my four years were up I moved to Hawaii! Crazy - yes. Far away - you bet. Awesome - of course.
Hold the phone here Ang, this is a blog about food. That it is, my friends!
Food in Pennsylvania was all I knew for a very long time. Dad's cooking and Mom's baking. Pierogies, cannoli, sticky buns, and arguments over 'gob' vs 'whoopie pie'. French fries on sandwiches and salads and topped with gravy. Farmers markets put on by the Amish where things are home grown or freshly baked. Chinese food with fortune cookies and 'sushi' from plastic containers in Panda Express kiosks.
Moving to Hawaii was a real eye opener as far as cuisine goes, naturally. Sure there are plenty of coconuts and pineapples, but the real game changers for me were all of the Asian foods. First I developed a love for pho and Vietnamese food, later it was Chinese dim sum that I couldn't get enough of (no fortune cookies to be seen), and eventually I grew to love takoyaki from the giant Japanese department store. Once I knew we'd be leaving Hawaii I started to better photograph my favorites and I'm hoping to catch up on their corresponding stories now that we're off island.
Takoyaki are savory little doughy dumplings made with pieces of octopus inside. They're topped with tons of sauce, lovely Japanese mayo, and dried fish flakes that wiggle from the heat of the fresh-from-the-cooktop takoyaki.
Here you can see how they begin, with the batter poured on the cooktop at the bottom of the photo. After being solidified and pushed together into individual portions over the little wells, they're flipped over using the special tool and become a complete ball of goodness as seen in the top of the photo.