Category Archives: Drinks

Mugicha, Barley Tea: The Taste of Summer Heat

barley tea mugichaI lived in Tokyo for a year and when summer came I heard people speaking dire warnings about tsuyu, the rainy season which was supposed to last about a month.  How bad can it be, I thought.  Little did I know.  For a girl from hot, dry Idaho, the stifling heat and unbearable humidity was a horrible new experience.  Then, a few years later, I moved to Houston.  Houston, where about 3-4 months of the year feel exactly like tsuyu.  We’re right in the middle of it right now, with 100+ degree weather and high, high humidity.

But unless you live in some magical land where it’s beautiful all summer long (oh Hawaii, I miss you), you probably have your own version of summer suffering, be it hot and humid or scorching and dry.  Well, I have a secret tsuyu pro tip for you to deal with the summer heat:  barley tea, a.k.a. mugicha. Continue reading Mugicha, Barley Tea: The Taste of Summer Heat

Summer foods: Horchata

A few weekends ago, after seven years living in Houston, for the first time I finally had a truly Southern dish:  chicken and waffles.  We got up early because there is often a line and had breakfast at a famous Houston breakfast joint, the Breakfast Klub.  I was shocked by how awesome it was!  I’m not a fan of fried chicken, particularly wings, but these were tasty.  Spiced perfectly and somehow they stayed hot for our whole breakfast.  This was truly masterful frying in action.

Horchata
Finished horchata

It wasn’t really ideal summer food, but other project for the weekend was:  homemade horchata.

If you’re not familiar with it, horchata is a sweet rice/nut milk sort of drink that is a part of many cuisines, but in Houston it typically is associated with Mexico.  I had never had it until recently when a friend gave me a taste of an alcoholic version and then I wanted to try the real thing.

It has a milky texture, is very sweet, and is spiced, usually with cinnamon.  It’s super delicious and perfect for hot summer weather.  Once I had real horchata for the first time I immediately thought — I wonder how this is made?

Fortunately for me, the internet exists to find out! Continue reading Summer foods: Horchata