Visit the USA – Food and Travel Fare

Words: Kirsten Durward        Photos: Monica Tindall
It’s not often that you get treated to an evening at the US Embassy to taste US produce with the fun and friendly people of the KL travel industry. So I’m excited to see what is on offer. We find a very relaxed ambience and are welcomed enthusiastically by Ambassador Joseph Yun’s charming wife Melanie, who presses us to try some of the savoury delights from her personal recipes. As we drift, tasting and chatting, a large TV screen displays continuous photographs of stunning natural vistas. The USA is a vast and varied country, and some of the splendid nature on view is simply jaw dropping. So much to see and experience. This gives us renewed vigour to plan a trip in the coming years.
Products from Oregon
travel usa
Products from the USA
Oysters glisten on ice and we marvel that they have come so far and still taste so fresh. Impressive asparagus spears are encased in pastry, which we dip in a delectable Bearnaise sauce – one of my favourite sauces and difficult to make but this lady has nailed the buttery tang.  Savoury tartlets and tasting glasses of limey ceviche are passed around, but my personal favourite of the night are the miniature baked salmon potato cakes. Healthy and tasty, and I manage to leave with the recipe! Score!
usa travel
Finger Food
Asparagus in Pastry
Although the Asian tropical fruit is its own deliciousness, seasonal stone fruit is something that Europeans, Australians and Americans alike do really long for. Monica and I trade cherry eating memories as we gnash through handfuls of these juicy sweet samples. Now all we need to find out is who is selling the imports in town, so we can get a regular fix. Apricots are another favourite of mine, I have a particular chicken recipe I love which calls for them, but these firm beauties are so fresh it would be a shame to cook with them. We scoff a few slices happily.
usa fruit
usa fruit
You will be aware that Monica and I are aficionados of both wine and cheese so we are happy to nibble and sip on what is on offer in that department. Cheese wise the organic offerings are truly delightful. Jalapeno, herbed, or smoked are the options we taste. All are more-ish but the organic smoked cheese gets our vote and it tastes quite delightful with the Echo Falls Californian Cabernet Sauvignon. Our other taster is a well rounded Californian Pinot Grigio, that has more body to it than its Italian cousins.
californian wine
Echo Falls Pinot Grigio
Echo Falls Californian Cabernet Sauvignon
usa produce
Organic Cheeses
Dessert tasters, again from Melanie’s recipe book, include a moist carrot cake, mini pavlovas, raspberry macaroons and a scrumptious chocolate mousse. We’ve been spoiled once again and if this is an insight into US hospitality, then a trip across ‘the pond’ will surely be not long in the planning.
usa food and travel
Mini Desserts
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  1. I would love to go so very much but the long haul flights wear me out, so put off by the mere idea of going through that.

  2. Well presented by Ambassador Tan and his wife.
    Of course one would expect an Embassy doing promotional
    work for their country to pull out all stops.

    The US food as shown here at the Embassy looks far better
    than many 5 star establishments in the US present.
    The oysters look exceptionally tasty.
    Colin (Brisbane. Australia)
    PS: Yes – pleased to report a perfect sunny and warm morning!

  3. All looks lovely..
    What's this I read about seasonal stone fruit', something Australians etc. long for….
    Australia had wonderful cherry farms, stone fruit orchids in the cooler areas…especially here in Tasmania a State of Australia, many people do have a stone fruit tree or two. Cherries are also grown and sold plus imported.
    Guess someone didn't do their homework on that! Tut, tut..

    • The author means Aussies living in Malaysia… we're all expats living in a tropical country, so miss all of those lovely seasonal fruits grown locally. Not complaining about the delicious mangos, mangosteens and other such fruits grown in this region though.

    • That makes sense and the words changed accordingly…thanks for that 🙂

  4. This looks so fun and tantalizing! I love Ocean Spray and Sun Sweet, too. Monica, your first photo is stunning! 🙂

  5. On the ball Margaret!
    Young in the Riverina district of NSW is the Cherry Capital of Australia.
    Cherry orchards galore as well as peaches, apricots, pears – they all have stones in them.
    Someone didn't do their homework!
    We export "stone" fruit by the tons to overseas countries where they are not likely to be grown
    and I would be surprised if cherries are found in profusion in orchards in Malaysia!!!

    It is quite possible that His Excellency the Hon. Joseph Tan, US Ambassador to Malaysia had
    Aussie cherries on the tables. Also I believe many US States have cherry orchards.
    I've had cherry dishes in Spain, France, Austria, Denmark etc – all locally grown.
    So that accounts for the Europeans!

    And just in case someone is wondering why I have "The Hon." (Honourable) in front of the Ambassador's name, US Ambassadors have this protocol added.

  6. The Asparagus in Pastry is such a lovely treat! xoxo

  7. Eh, how come we were not invited? 😉
    No TGIF ribs? He he…

  8. It all looks so yummy. I have never enjoyed oysters though. I love cherries, they are in season now and are so tasty! Great post and thanks for sharing your evening. Have a happy weekend!

  9. Very good pictures, would like to try the cheese.


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