I have a favorite cooking show. But I don't know what it's called, I don't know who the host is, and I can't understand a word (except hao, which means good). That's because my cooking show is on ZWTV, which seems to be a local Chinese station. I can't get any info because the only thing ZWTV translates into English is the ads, and only the addresses. Even the website is in Chinese and, apparently, untranslatable (I tried plugging in the URL at the Google translation site: nada).
Even without understanding the Chinese, I still find it riveting. Mainly because of the host, who is an absolute riot. The first half hour of the show is when she has guests — she really shines here, laughing, buffooning, teasing. On one recent show, she actually cried. At first I thought she was joking, but no, she was crying. The guest chef had made a chicken in a pressure cooker. At the bottom of the pot was an intense liquor of chicken broth. The host drank it, and almost instantly, started tearing up. I'm sure she was reminiscing about her childhood, about her mother or grandmother taking all day to prepare this dish, how the aroma and taste reminded her of all that love. She cried for a good five minutes. I couldn't imagine Martha Stewart or Julia Child doing that.
I think ZWTV is Taiwanese. And I've noticed that Taiwanese shows are really cartoony, very heavy with graphics and physical humor. Even this cooking show will often have cartoon bubbles sprouting out of the guest's head. It's such a fun show. And with food shows, I notice you really don't need to understand the language. So check it out if you get ZWTV. In LA it's 57.9 and the cooking show is on at 9 in the morning on weekends.
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