Our national Thanksgiving holiday stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the Pilgrims and King Massasoit and 90 Wampanoag men to celebrate the colony's first successful harvest. The menu included various fowl, venison, fruits, vegetables (pumpkin of course) fish and shellfish. Since there were no ovens for baking, the English improvised by hollowing out pumpkins, filling the shells with milk, honey and spices to make a custard, then roasting the gourds whole in hot ashes.
After Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in the late 19th century, its residents enthusiastically adopted many of the traditions of the holiday. They celebrate it on the same day (fourth Thursday in November) and embrace the same Black Friday shopping craziness on the following day. But Puerto Ricans have put their own twist on the traditional Thanksgiving Day feast: There is usually turkey—whether a roasted, seasoned pavochón or a turkey stuffed with mofongo (a mashed plantain dish)—but roast pork is also a common item on the menu, accompanied with more plaintains, rice and beans.
Japan’s variation of Thanksgiving, Kinro Kansha no Hi (Labor Thanksgiving Day) evolved from an ancient rice harvest festival, Niinamesai, the roots of which go back as far as the seventh century A.D. During the Meiji Era (1868-1912), the date of the festival was set as November 23, and it has remained the same since then.
American ex-pats and Chinese people who have lived abroad enjoy the traditional family-centered celebration and festive foods. Although many homes now serve Peking Duck, stir fry veggies, noodle dishes, eggplant and traditional dishes cooked with 5 Spice, and teas. Sharing a hotpot is a longtime Chinese tradition. “Friendsgiving” has become common with millennials working in big cities who can’t go home to celebrate.
Chinese Christians call the day "Gan'en Jie" literally: 'thanks for grace holiday'. Foreigners in China might hear friends say "thank you" and receive a small gift. The holiday for early settlers and Natives in the American colonies has been adopted by people around the world to thank God for blessings.
Wing Hop Fung enjoys all holidays and celebrations that include healthy foods and family get-togethers.
Wines and Digestives
Holiday eating is rich and often heavy. Wines and certain spirits can help digestion and lift spirits. Most people choose a wine because of its taste or to pair with a certain food. There are added health benefits to wine that most of us do not know.
Your glass of blanc is full of antioxidants, thanks to phenolic compounds
that help your body fight oxidative stress. Speaking of stress, a glass of white is good at reducing stress hormones and keeping you well. Studies have shown that drinking aged white wine brings about greater heart-health benefits than drinking gin. In fact, white wine helps to repair endothelial cells lining blood vessels, thus offering cardioprotection. It also decreased the presence of inflammatory cells and pro-inflammatory biomarkers.
Wing Hop Fung features delicious white wines from California to Europe:
Famous heart health benefits are due to red wine’s naturally occurring antioxidants, cholesterol-lowering polyphenol resveratrol, and anti-cancer polyphenol ellagic acid. Wine’s fermentation process may actually enhance the nutritive and health-regulating properties of foods. Fermented foods can also be an important source of live microorganisms, and many of the species found in these foods are phylogenetically related to probiotics. A polyphenol found in red wine, ellagic acid, may inhibit the proliferation of lung cancer cells via induction of autophagy. In previous studies, researchers have shown that ellagic acid is a potent antioxidant and may have preventive effects in several types of cancer.
Wing Hop Fung features delicious healthful wines from California to Europe and beyond.
Here are delicious teas to help settle our nerves, boost our Spirit and enjoy the season.
Rose bud tea is a romantic message for someone we love. The handpicked small red roses fill the cup with fragrance that can ease pain and depression.
Dried Longan fruit makes a sweet, soothing tea when brewed and adding honey. The Longan is literally translated to “dragon eye” due to its resemblance to that of dragon’s eyeball when it is still in its shell. The berries are produced by a tropical tree that is native to southern China, but also grows in some other areas of Asia. Dried Longan is used in Chinese cuisine, and desserts, and a delicious drink.
Longan, as an herbal medicine, is believed to have a relaxing effect on the body. Also, because of the fruit’s high Iron content, it is thought to help in improving concentration & memory. In addition, it is known to alleviate stomach-aches and help with insomnia.
Tian qi Flower can be brewed alone or added to white or green tea. Tian qi flower is a small greenish bud that looks like dried broccoli flowers as the result of extracting the Tian qi Flower tea. The taste is mild, cooling and slightly minty similar to American ginseng. Tian Qi is highly prized throughout Asia for its traditional use of pain relieving and healing properties. It has been used for headache, hypertension, acne, agitation and teeth grinding during sleep.
Fruit Teas: Brighten winter’s gloom with one of our delightful fruit teas. Their sweet, calming flavors bring happy thoughts and conversations shared with friends and family.