Entertainment Weekly: Get to know Awkwafina before she’s in Ocean’s 8

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Entertainment Weekly (by Nolan Feeney):

It’s not every day that the cast of an upcoming ensemble film—like the women-led Ocean’s 8 project—is as good as the one you dream-cast in your head. But EW confirmed Wednesday that Warner Bros. is finalizing a coterie of stars that includes Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, and Awkwafina a.k.a. rapper and comedian Nora Lum. That last name might not mean as much to the masses as, say, RiRi or Bellatrix Lestrange—at least not yet—but here’s why you should get excited anyway.

Her claim to fame is a hilarious viral video

Awkwafina made waves on the internet with 2012’s “My Vag,” a response to Mickey Avalon’s “My Dick” that she first wrote and recorded on GarageBand when she was 19.

You’ve definitely seen her before

She had a hilarious turn as one of the Kappa Nu sisters in this year’s Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, but she’s popped up on screen in a few other places, like as a co-host of MTV’s Girl Code Live and as a subject of the Tribeca Film Festival documentary Bad Rap, about Asian-Americans in hip-hop.

She’s got a classic New York origin story

Awkwafina grew up in Queens, studied music at the famed LaGuardia High School for the performing arts, and later graduated with a journalism degree from SUNY Albany in 2011. At LaGuardia, she planted the seeds for what would become Awkwafina with her own mock news show. “I used to chop up C-Span soundbites or interviews with politicians like John Kerry or Bill Clinton into a radio-esque show hosted by Awkwafina and her producer, Mookie,” she told The Daily Dot in 2014. “I would pitch down my vocals to have male guests, and would send them to a small circle of friends after they were done.”

She specializes in LOL-worthy raps

Really funny—her 2014 debut, Yellow Ranger, saw her take on Brooklyn hipsters and gentrification with songs like the title track (“Shout out to Greenpoint, Kielbasa in the oven/Greenpoint, where all the bitches look like Lena Dunham”) and “NYC Bitche$” (“New York City bitch, that’s where I come from/not where I moved to on Mom and Dad’s trust fund”). Some of the tracks are fairly New York-centric—“Mayor Bloomberg (Giant Margarita)” was inspired by Michael Bloomberg’s “soda ban”—but that won’t stop non-residents from enjoying them.

Her latest jam features a legendary comedian

She and Margaret Cho, who’s no stranger to re-working that Mickey Avalon song herself, teamed up earlier this year for “Green Tea,” which pokes fun at Asian stereotypes. “I remember watching Margaret Cho with my grandmother on TV,” Awkafina told the blog Angry Asian Man, which premiered the video. “She was my hero, not only because she was funny, but because she showed me that it’s okay to be yourself, that it’s okay to be a brash yellow girl, and to be a strong and brave woman.”

Starbucks matcha marches into the Via lineup with new, Japan-exclusive green tea drink mix

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RocketNews 24 (by Casey Baseel):

The powdered drink series isn’t just for coffee anymore.

While most people immediately think “coffee” when they hear “Starbucks,” the immensely popular chain of cafes also does a brisk business in teas at its Japanese locations. In 2001, the chain introduced the Matcha Cream Frappuccino, which predated the current matcha sweets boom by several years and paved the way for this year’s Chocolate Brownie Matcha, plus the matcha tea latte, which was added to the menu in 2006.

Now, Starbucks is bringing out the first Japan-exclusive item in its Via line of instant beverage mixes: Tea Essence Matcha.

▼ Tea Essence Matcha, hanging out with its coffee-based Via half-siblings

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The matcha Via contains the same domestically produced matcha tea powder as Starbucks uses for its barista-prepared beverages while offering the convenience and portability of Via’s powdered drink bases. Starbucks recommends mixing the contents of a pack with milk for a rich, relaxing cup of matcha latte.

Matcha Via goes on sale June 17 at Starbucks Japan branches and through the company’s online store, priced at 650 yen (US$5.90) for a pack of five.

Asian fast food items you won’t find in the U.S.

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 Audrey Magazine

We first explored KFC menu items that can only be found in Asia, but what about the rest of the well-known American fast-food chains? There are so many yummy menu items only found in Asia that you’ll have to explore (and get hungry) for yourself, but below are some of the more interesting ones we found:

Nacho Fries– Wendy’s, Japan

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This is definitely not a classic Wendy’s menu item, but who doesn’t love nachos? Wendy’s Japan created the Nacho Fries which consists of classic fries, guacamole, chili, cheese and– for a kick– jalapeños

McRice Burger — McDonald’s, Philippines

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In the U.S., we rave over the ramen burger. In the Philippines, they sandwich a chicken or beef patty between two crispy rice patties! Could this inspire us to create the next burger trend in the U.S.?

Dry Pork and Seaweed Donut — Dunkin Donuts, China

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If you thought adding bacon to a maple donut was a bit odd, then you might be hesitant to try this sugar glazed donut topped with dry pork and crunchy seaweed. It sounds like it would be too much of a salty overload rather than a sweet treat.

Ebi Shrimp Filet-O —  McDonald’s, Japan

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If you love shrimp, this is all you. It’s a simple fried shrimp patty paired with thousand island dressing and lettuce between their signature sesame seed bun.

Veg Sammi — Subway, India

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If you’re vegetarian and think American fast food doesn’t have enough veggie items, you’re probably right. Subways in India carry a wide array of meat-less options and include ingredients you won’t find in American Subways. For instance, this Veg Sammi consists of a vegetarian kabob made of lentils, garlic and onions.

Green Tea Blizzard — Dairy Queen, Thailand

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With the green tea and matcha trend running rampant, why hasn’t this made its way to the U.S. yet? Who doesn’t want to have a green tea blizzard served upside down?

Matcha (green tea) beer is a thing in Japan

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RocketNews 24:

The history of beer – man’s most delicious way of getting inebriated – is long and winding, with many fad flavors and failed attempts at new brewing methods. We’ve seen beer infused with marijuana (failure), blueberry beer (failure), wheat beer (resounding success), even chocolate beer (success by virtue of having chocolate in it).

Until now though, we’d never heard of the surprisingly intuitive combination of beer and matcha. Looking back, it makes so much sense: two complementary bitter flavors, combined to create an appealing, marbled green-colored beverage that St. Patrick would have loved if he hadn’t, in reality, been a total prude.

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The matcha even fluffs up the beer foam for a beverage with a rich, velvety head that borders on physically impossible to stop drinking.

While this ingenious beer does come pre-bottled, it’s also deceptively simple to make at home, provided you have access to some decent matcha powder: All it takes is about a half teaspoon of matcha powder dissolved in a half-glass of warm water. Fill the glass the rest of the way with a non-faux beer of your choice and, if you’re not totally inept at even the simplest of recipes, you should end up with a richly marbled matcha beer cocktail.

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The drink is catching on at bars and restaurants in Japan, especially in the Kyoto area, where it’s proving popular with women for its lower alcohol content and less bitter taste compared to draft beer.

Some Japanese Twitter users are already uploading pics of their home-made matcha beer creations, some of which have a mildly disturbing dark, brownish-green hue, indicating conservative use of matcha powder is key to this cocktail.

▼ Twitter user gracenaho’s slightly off-putting home-made version.

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Why not give this one a try and let us know how it goes in the comments? We’ll just play it safe and buy the bottled stuff, thank you.

▼ A six-pack of matcha beer from Nagoya brewery, Kinshachi

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BLVD Creamery’s Asian Spumoni Ice Cream has red bean, green tea & black Sssame flavors with cinnamon wonton strips

 

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FoodBeast:

 

Its name means foam. It’s made with three layers of cherry, pistachio, and chocolate ice cream. It’s also generally considered Italian, except at the BLVD Creamery at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas, where, believe it or not, the spumoni ice cream is 100% Asian.

Furnished with red beans, green tea powder, toasted black sesame seeds and sesame seed paste, and toasted cinnamon sugar wonton strips, the BLVD’s Asian Spumoni ice cream trades the traditional Italian red, green, and brown creams for three of their most iconic Asian counterparts. The brainchild of our very own Geoff Kutnick and friend Eunice Kim, the specialty Foodbeast flavor is available at BLVD through September.

 

 

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Read more at http://www.foodbeast.com/2014/08/28/this-asian-spumoni-ice-cream-features-red-bean-green-tea-black-sesame-and-cinnamon-wonton-strips/#3yl4Fr5E62T6RAeo.99

Krispy Kreme Japan brings us more doughnut ice cream sundaes and sweet tea summertime treats!

KKD 1 top comboRocketNews 24:

 

Okay, when Krispy Kreme Japan came out with the sinfully delectable-looking doughnut ice cream sundaes in April this year, we kind of thought they were the dessert of our dreams. Well, the original doughnut ice cream sundaes we introduced to you in our previous article may be available only until July 14, but luckily for us, sweets makers and pastry chefs always seem to have a way of coming up with another new dream dessert.

This time, it’s still a lovely doughnut and ice cream creation, but in a new refreshing flavor with a Japanese twist — matcha green tea! And they also have other new delightful snacks and drinks as well that will all be coming out later this month, so let’s take a look at the new Krispy Kreme offerings, and hope the wait until they become available won’t drive us crazy!

As excited as we were about the caramel & yogurt and blueberry & yogurt ice cream sundaes that came out in April, this “Doughnut Ice Green Tea & Cookie” (450 yen [US$4.40]) also has to be a flavor we can look forward to. It’s made from Krispy Kreme’s signature original glazed doughnut served with green tea ice cream, topped with a smooth green tea jelly, green tea chocolate and crunchy cookie crumbles. If that description sounds delicious, we totally agree — it’s bound to satisfy with the aroma of green tea and the contrasting yet pleasant texture of the jelly and cookie crumbles.

 

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They also have three new doughnut flavors that look so tempting, you’ll be hard pressed to choose between them.

 

▼There’s the “Matcha Cookie Crunch” (230 yen [$2.25]), a beautifully colored doughnut creation covered with green tea chocolate and cocoa-flavored cookie crumbles and checkered with white and green tea chocolate. KKD 3 matcha cookie crunch resize

▼They also have the “Bergamot & Lemon Tea” doughnut (230yen), which is covered with tea-flavored jelly and chocolate, then artfully topped with pieces of orange peel and white chocolate stripes.KKD 4 donut bergamot and lemontea

▼And here’s the “Earl Grey Milk Tea Cake” doughnut (210 yen [$2]), made from dough containing earl grey tea leaves and covered with milk tea flavored chocolate topped with graham cookie crumbles. KKD 5 earlgrey mil tea

▼Just in case individual doughnuts aren’t enough for you, they also have a “Tea Time Dozen” pack (2,000 yen [$19.60]), which includes the three new doughnuts and the original glazed and mixed berry doughnuts as well — great for a summer tea party!KKD dozen

And if you need to take a break from the summer heat, they also have two cool refreshing Chiller flavors,the “Chillers Ice Uji Matcha Jelly” (right) and  the “Chillers Ice Peach Tea Yogurt” (left), both priced at 480 yen ($4.70). The Uji Matcha Jelly Chiller is a veritable green tea feast, a frozen green tea drink containing jelly made from premium green tea from the Uji area in Kyoto and green tea ice cream topped with green tea chocolate sauce and cocoa flavored cookie crumbles. The Peach Tea Yogurt Chiller is another scrumptious-looking frozen dessert drink containing peach purée sauce, earl grey tea and yogurt, as well as vanilla ice cream topped with peach sauce and graham cookie crumbles.

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Now, don’t all of these treats look amazing? We, for one, can’t wait to try them, and we don’t think you can blame us for feeling that way, especially after seeing these photos. The green tea flavored doughnut ice cream sundae and Chiller in particular should make for a refreshing summer dessert or snack, and they could well be a big hit since green tea sweets have always been popular in Japan. The new products will all be sold from July 15 to September 9, so here’s hoping we can all enjoy a cool and sweet summer!

Link

15 Iconic Asian snacks you need to try…

1. Haw Flakes

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Why You Should Try It: The Chinese hawthorn fruit is kind of a strange enigma, but a roll of these tangy bad boys will get you quickly addicted.

2. Dried Squid

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Why You Should Try It: Before you make that face, reimagine these as basically stringy jerky with a tinge of seafood taste. It’s a fun savory snack alternative that you won’t feel guilty about consuming.

3. Cuttlefish Chips

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Why You Should Try It: These melt-in-your-mouth snackables are comparable to famous shrimp chips.

4. Lychee Jelly

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Why You Should Try It: If you like lychee, these tiny cups of jelly are dangerously addictive. They’re packed with sweet juiciness and some even surprise you with pieces of real lychee inside.

5. Asian Rice Crackers

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Why You Should Try It: Another Asian childhood staple, these do not even compare to the “rice crackers” you find in your local grocery aisle. The golden crisps are packed with a special (albeit MSG-induced) flavor that really challenges the bland Western version.

6. Yakult Milk

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Why You Should Try It: Let’s be honest…no one really knows what’s inside a bottle of Yakult “Cultured Milk,” but we’ve stopped wondering. This Japanese product offers the wonderfully tangy taste of yogurt in a shot-sized case, and it’s become so popular, it’s now found in larger bottles in a variety of flavors.

7. Umaibo Wafer Sticks

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Why You Should Try It: “Umaibo” means “delicious stick” in Japanese, and it’s pretty accurate: These cylindrical puffs come in all sorts of yummy flavors (cheese being one of the most popular), and they offer a soft wafer-y crunch.

8. Real Mochi

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Why You Should Try It: You’ve probably already indulged in a delectable mochi with ice cream filling, but straight OG mochi is a little less accessible to the average palette. Still, the chewy snack can satisfy a slight sweet tooth while giving your jaw a great work out.

9. Aloo Bhujia

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Why You Should Try It: The spicy curry accents of these Indian dried potato noodles are highly addictive. *Disclaimer: once you open a bag, you will find tiny trails of these in your keyboards, on your lap, and in your hair.

10. Fish Pastries

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Why You Should Try It: The Korean/Japanese “Bungeoppang or “Taiyaki” snacks taste nothing like the depicted animal: It’s a fish-shaped waffle casing with red bean paste (and sometimes ice cream!) filling.

11. American Munchies in Green Tea Flavors

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Why You Should Try It: Everything is better in green tea (macha) flavor!

12. “Boy Bawang” Garlic Bites

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Why You Should Try It: A true Filipino staple, the garlic superhero snack comes in a plethora of flavors, but garlic is by far the most popular. Warning: It will do wonders to your breath.

13. White Rabbit Cream Candies

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Why You Should Try It: The classic Asian treat melts on your tongue beautifully like a blanket of milky syrup. Plus, each candy is only 20 calories.

14. Dried Mini Fish

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Why You Should Try It: As unappetizing as it may look, these extremely salty mini fish perfectly complement blander foods like rice, porridge, or bread. The Japanese version also comes with roasted almonds.

15. Sweet and Salty Dried Plums

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Why You Should Try It: If you want to take your taste buds for a ride, pop in one of these shriveled plum candies: It will start off salty, melt to sweet, and then kick you with a sharp sour.

Check out this link:

15 Iconic Asian snacks you need to try…