“Where are the hornless dragons which carry bears on their backs for sport? Where is the great serpent with nine heads and where is the Shu-Hu?” (Zhuangzi ca. 3rd-2nd centuries BCE).
The dragon, it seems, is right here, but both Shu and Hu have gone visiting. Their host is none other than Mr Chaos, as Confucius scathingly calls him, otherwise known as Hundun, Hun-Tun, Wantan, or – you got it! – Wonton. It all depends on your Chinese pronunciation, Beautiful People.
“The emperor of the South Sea was called Shu [Brief], the emperor of the North Sea was called Hu [Sudden], and the emperor of the central region was called Hun-tun [Chaos]. Shu and Hu from time to time came together for a meeting in the territory of Hun-tun, and Hun-tun treated them very generously. Shu and Hu discussed how they could repay his kindness. “All men,” they said…
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This is a combination of two salads. Years ago in Israel, my aunt served a simple, yet delicious and healthy salad. It was just thinly sliced celery with diced scallions, dressed Israeli style, with lemon juice and olive oil. I loved it, and started making it regularly. Then I saw one of the antipasti offered at Hosteria Romana owned by our friend Marco Efrati right here on South Beach (caution: Hosteria Romana is advertised as specializing in Roman-Jewish meals, but it is not kosher). This antipasto consisted of celery, red onions, and cannellini beans.
The stocky jolly guy standing under the sign is Marco. We can’t eat there, obviously, but I can look, and when I see cannellini (white kidney beans), I can taste Florence. So I put two and two together and tweaked it a little.
I still have my sliced celery and diced scallions, but I throw…
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