The origins of Chinese food
5 p.m. May 22; Mondavi Center (1 Shields Ave., Davis)
An old Chinese proverb states that “talk doesn’t cook rice.” Maybe not, but it can explain how rice came to be successfully domesticated and cultivated. The Confucius Institute at UC Davis is hosting a lecture on the origins of Chinese food by UC Riverside anthropology professor E.N. Anderson. The talk takes a look at a rich and dynamic cuisine thousands of years in the making. In the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre. Admission is free, but registration is requested at confucius.ucdavis.edu/lecture.
• Marin French Cheese Petite Sampler
$9.99; available at Costco
Dairy farmer Jefferson Thompson started Marin French cheese in 1865 in a facility that’s still working today (it’s just outside Petaluma with a lovely lake and picnic grounds), making it the longest continually operating cheese company in the country. The artisanal operation is still handcrafting creamy Camemberts, buttery Bries and pungent blues the old-fashioned way, with local milk delivered fresh daily. Costco bundles four petite wheels in a fiscally fit bunch that’s good for your wallet if not your waistline.
• Sac-Joaquin student athletes saluted on Crystal Creamery milk
Available at local grocery stores including Nugget and Wal-Mart
Raise a glass of Crystal Creamery milk and toast Sacramento-area high school athletes. Since 2012, Crystal, a sponsor the Sac-Joaquin section of the California Interscholastic Federation, has recognized sports champions on the backs of special commemorative milk cartons. This year’s basketball honorees include Jesuit, Natomas, Capital Christian, Sacramento and Bradshaw Christian as well as Modesto Christian, Victory Christian, St. Mary’s, Brookside Christian and Valley Christian.
• Casamigos Reposado Tequila
$49.99; available at Bevmo, Costco, grocery and liquor stores
It’s smooth enough that the world’s most famous former bachelor, Señor George Clooney, sipped it to celebrate his engagement to Amal Alamuddin this past week (he mixed it with a bit of agave nectar, lime and pomegranate). Of course, Clooney’s part owner of the brand, along with Rande Gerber (a.k.a. Mr. Cindy Crawford), and they created it to their specifications, making it from slow-roasted agave aged in American oak. If it’s good enough for George, we’re willing to give it a shot (or three) for Cinco de Mayo.
• Tiffin food carriers
Price varies; Natural Foods Co-op; Amazon.com, ethnic markets
Fans of foreign films will recently have spotted these multitiered stainless steel meal carriers in the Indian heart-warmer “The Lunchbox.” Widely used throughout Southeast Asia (and sometimes called dabbas), these latching, stacking containers feature individual compartments for just about anything edible – rice, soup, curries. And they’re a snap to clean up and far greener than plastic sandwich bags. Try them out for a sophisticated and functional upgrade to the usual sad insulated sack.
– Bee staff
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