myMEGusta

Named for things that please me (“me gusta” in Spanish) and rhymes with balabusta (Yiddish for “good homemaker”).

Portugal’s Alentejo Region and a Porky Treat

It’s fun to travel on well beaten paths, to those places in the world where there is little not to like, and where there is plenty to see and do between extraordinary meals. But, it’s also fun to get off of that route, into places where “nobody” goes, that is, nobody other than people in the know. One of these areas is the Alentejo Region, a mere couple of hours away from Lisbon by car (on good roads), known as the breadbasket of Portugal.

Vila Vicosa's Convent, now a Pousada, next door to the Castle

Vila Vicosa’s Convent, now a Pousada, next door to the Castle

Recommended to myMEGusta by author Jean Anderson (The Food of Portugal, and numerous other books and articles including http://www.saveur.com/article/travels/the-food-of-alentejo-portugal ), Alentejo was a treasure trove of good eats and beautiful sights.

The Alentejo is a large (for Portugal) expanse of land east of Lisbon, traditionally a not-so-wealthy agricultural area, studded with ancient fortified hilltop castles and convents, many of which have been converted to “pousadas”, country inns in varying levels of luxury. The European Union’s funding of major highways make it easily accessible, and GPS is a good friend in navigating the back roads and byways.

It is the home of Porco Preto, the local breed of black pigs who spend their lives roaming around eating ample portions of acorns, and their rich, flavorful meat is a fixture on menus throughout the region.

View from lunch at Herdade do Grous Winery

View from lunch at Herdade do Grous Winery

As in other wine districts around the world, investors have created star worthy restaurants and elaborate estates amongst the vineyards here. Two particularly memorable lunches were at the Herdade do Esporao and Herdade do Grous. Speaking of porco preto, the star of lunch at Esporao was porco preto three ways: Roasted shoulder (like suckling pig), fork tender loin cooked sous vide, and slow cooked, then crisped, pork belly, garnished with their garden vegetables.

Porco Preto Three Ways at Herdade de Esporao

Porco Preto Three Ways at Herdade do Esporao

Some of the most memorable dining was in little village spots. One tiny place in Evora, every table taken by locals, did not have the most elegant of cuisines, but their pork cheeks in red wine were like the best beef bourguignon, although the sauce was richer (Thank you, big Alentejo reds!) and the meat totally succulent. The sign read (translated): “We may not have a Michelin star, but we have the best pork cheeks in the world.”

Pork Cheeks in Evora

Pork Cheeks at Sao Domingos in Evora

Pork “Alentejo style” – chunks with clams, cilantro and garlic – is also ubiquitous, although myMEGusta has to admit that a recent sampling of this dish at Ipanema Restaurant in Manhattan was at least as good as she had in the region. Although the piggy was surely a standard US breed, the amazing flavor was probably due to the pork shoulder having marinated for a very long time in garlic. The accompanying black beans and rice were a reminder that this was a Brazilian, not Portuguese, restaurant.

Alentejo Style Pork and Clams with Garlic and Cilantro

Alentejo Style Pork and Clams with Garlic and Cilantro

Preserved porco preto, like a good jamon Iberico or prosciutto, usually appeared as a “cover” (amuse bouche for which one is charged) at lunch and dinner, a perfect preliminary for any meal.

A few thin slices between crisp bread slices was also a great way to start the day.

Breakfast in Alentejo!

Breakfast in Alentejo!

More on beautiful Portugal in future postings!

Pass The Buckwheat!

Buckwheat On The Hoof

Buckwheat On The Hoof

It’s not wheat at all, not even vaguely related to the grain, other than by its misnomer, nor is it even a grass.

Buckwheat Kernels

Buckwheat Kernels

Believed to have first been cultivated in China, buckwheat spread eastward to Japan, and westward to Russia and the Middle East, before eventually coming to Europe and the Americas.

The most familiar buckwheat dish in the United States is buckwheat pancakes, a perfect breakfast served simply au naturel or with a little maple syrup and butter.

Blini With Salmon Caviar

Blini With Salmon Caviar

One close relative is the authentic Russian blini made with buckwheat flour (perhaps mixed with wheat flour), delightful paired with caviar, particularly red (salmon) caviar or smoked salmon, and a dot of sour cream. (By the way, inauthentic blini, made with wheat flour alone, are not bad at all!)

Another is the French crepe, particularly popular in Brittany, and usually served with savory filllings like ham and cheese. Watch for the French word, sarrasin, on the menu for this treat. To read more, check out “A Crepe-s Salute to Bastille Day”  http://wp.me/p1VQOz-of .

Pizzoccheri

Pizzoccheri

A relatively obscure dish from Northern Italy is Pizzoccheri, buckwheat noodles, often cooked with Swiss chard or cabbage, potatoes and cheeses, Taleggio and/or Fontina and Parmesan. Recipes abound on line, each reflecting someone’s grandmother’s approach, all in varying degrees of deliciousness.

Dried Soba

Dried Soba

But, making buckwheat noodles is not easy, so myMEGusta suggests taking a shortcut by way of Japan, substituting dried Japanese soba noodles, broken into shorter pieces rather than in long strands.

Japanese soba is a myMEGusta favorite, whether hot in a soup or cold with a dipping sauce, perfect on a hot summer day. Both are traditionally served with garnishes, like wild mushrooms or tempura for hot soup or grated yam or nori seaweed for cold. In a really authentic setting, the waiter brings a pitcher of hot buckwheat broth at the end of a cold soba meal to mix with, and be sipped, with the remaining dipping sauce.

Cold Soba With Grated Yam and Dipping Sauce

Cold Soba With Grated Yam and Dipping Sauce

Hot Soba With Wild Mushrooms

Hot Soba With Wild Mushrooms

A favorite Manhattan destination for authentic Japanese soba is Soba Nippon, sister restaurant of Nippon, a few doors away, owned by a soba aficionado who has his own buckwheat farm in Montreal, Canada. The noodles are made twice daily at Nippon, losing nothing in the translation as they cross Fifth Avenue.

Buckwheat is a great gluten free food for people with Celiac disease, but read the label on any prepared food, or ask in a restaurant, as it could contain a mixture with regular wheat flour, as most soba noodles (including Soba Nippon) do.

Happy Bastille Day, July 14! Have a Macaroon!

Macaroons at Dalloyau in Paris

Macaroons at Dalloyau in Paris

Pretend you are sitting with your morning coffee at the wonderful Dalloyau in Paris, enjoying the complimentary macaroon that arrives with it as you gaze at the Jardin de Luxembourg.

 

Or, you are in the countryside, wandering through the old city of Dole in the Jura region in the foothills of the Alps, and stop into a little patisserie to indulge in an afternoon snack of a colorful little bite.

Macaroons at a Patisserie in Dole, Jura, France

Macaroons at a Patisserie in Dole, Jura, France

 

French macaroons have come to the forefront as a major international treat. Once obscure, they are now well known (and loved) enough to be appearing in an ad for Fios, the fiber-optic utility. Creative chefs, particularly caterers, are having fun creating macaroon lollipops and decorating cakes with them.

 

Macaroon Wedding Cake

Macaroon Wedding Cake

On a recent episode of Hell’s Kitchen, the losing team made a “mountain of macaroons” for a wedding reception (while the winners flew off for a night of fun in Las Vegas). Another example of macaroons’ trendiness was appearing after an exquisitely prepared, set menu at Hakkasan, a superb Chinese restaurant in London (and New York); the green tea, pistachio and chocolate treats were tasty, but felt out of place, although house-made macaroons appear on the regular dessert menu.

Macaroon Lollipops

Macaroon Lollipops

 

The name, “macaroon” derives from the Italian “maccarone”, or paste, the same root as “macaroni” (flour paste rather than nut paste). The newly modish French macaroon is made with ground almonds (plus beaten egg whites and sugar) and stuffed, like an Oreo.

 

The macaroons many of us grew up with, the English version and myMEGusta’s favorite, are coarser, made with coconut, and normally served “au naturel,” although sometimes made with, or dipped in, chocolate.

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Even on Bastille Day, myMEGusta would take the coconut, but would hardly be unhappy with the colorful French style!

Macaroons!

Macaroons!

 

Finns’ Huckleberries

July is National Blueberry Month in Finland!

Visiting Helsinki in July 2015, my MEGusta encountered a plethora of street vendors and beautiful, beautiful blueberries.Blueberries Helsinki July 2015

One fascinating thing about this city was that only fresh, seasonal produce was sold on the streets. Berry and pea stands popped up on every corner, not to mention dominating the market squares. Of course, the supermarkets carried just about everything, but the streets were dressed in a celebration of seasonal abundance.

Not tempted to indulge in market pastries and other such breakfast goodies due to the “free” (and good) buffet at the hotel, myMEGusta strolled there every morning anyhow to snag fresh berries, which she would wash and tote to the dining room to enhance whatever else she was eating.

Blueberries and Strawberries

Blueberries and Strawberries

Berries were labeled by origin, and Finland (Suomi) appeared to dominate the blueberry suppliers, although there was signage for Spain as well (although probably referring to strawberries).

Blueberries and huckleberries are scientifically distinct species, however the term is often used interchangeably, particularly when the menu writer wants to make a dessert sound sexier than a variation on breakfast fruit.

Native to North America, blueberries are now cultivated world over, including in Europe, where they are more popular than similar, but unrelated, natives. Why? Who knows, but it may have to do with the ease of cultivation of the American fruit.

Cultivated and Wild Blueberries

Cultivated and Wild Blueberries

The Finnish consumer could choose between the familiar, slightly larger, sweeter cultivated blueberry and the tarter little wild berries, something we only encounter if we live near a patch. The latter make the best pies, jams and such, more flavorful than the commercial berries with the extra acidity offset with sugar.

So Easy Blueberry Pecan Crunch

So Easy Blueberry Pecan Crunch

Check this link for an excellent recipe, Jean Anderson’s So Easy Blueberry Pecan Crunch from her latest book, “Crisps, Cobblers, Custards & Creams” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). You will enjoy reading the article, too!

http://www.newsobserver.com/living/food-drink/article84998952.html#emlnl=morning_newsletter

A taste of blueberries came recently at Wallse, an Austrian restaurant in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village: A blueberry compote hidden under clouds of meringue in their outstanding Salzburger Nockerl, whose name derives from the Italian “gnocchi”, for the dumpling-like beaten egg whites. (Long time readers of myMEGusta.com may recall the story of another meringue dessert, Floating Island : https://mymegusta.com/2014/02/19/least-favorite-food-most-favorite-dessert/ )

Salzburger Nockerl

Salzburger Nockerl

Restaurants for Literally Great Food

One of myMEGusta’s favorite things is to find historically significant restaurants which have kept their character and not turned into tourist traps. It is especially fun when they not only played a role in real life, but when they have turned up in historical fiction, whether written, televised or in films.

restaurants casino royaleDuring a recent drive in seaside Estoril, Portugal, we went by the Casino at a distance. “So what”, said myMEGusta to herself, then the guide explained that this little seaside city played a big role in World War II, when Portugal was neutral, and this was a hotbed for spies and other action. Ian Fleming was among the players, and this Casino was the model for Casino Royale, the first of the James Bond novels. We will speculate that the food there was (and is) expensive and fancy, but not designed to distract the guests from the business at hand (losing their money).

After numerous visits over many years, Rules (allegedly the oldest restaurant in London, established in 1798, and close to Covent Garden, home of the Royal Opera) is still a myMEGusta favorite. It’s the place for traditional British food, perfectly prepared to old standards, set in surroundings that never change, and just as elegant as when Downton Abbey characters went there on several occasions in the 1920s.

Suckling Pig at Rules

Suckling Pig at Rules

On a recent visit, myMEGusta enjoyed a perfect portion of suckling pig, the skin crackling (and not at all chewy) atop fork tender meat, served with applesauce and a little salad on the side. She watched people at the next table tucking into what appeared to be steak and kidney pie, not exactly what it looks like in your average pub.

Speaking again of suckling pig, when reading “The Heart has Its Reasons” by Maria Duenas, myMEGusta found herself at Madrid’s Casa Botin, supposedly the world’s oldest restaurant (established in 1725) where the specialty is little piggy as well as roasted baby lamb. This venerable institution also appears in “The Sun Also Rises” and other literary works too numerous to mention.

Botin

Botin

During a visit in the 1990s, myMEGusta was able to wheedle a look into the room where Casa Botin’s roasts sit after coming out of the giant wood burning oven, awaiting delivery to the hungry patrons. Her 2013 piggy portion was just as good as remembered. The gazpacho, a perfect appetizer on a hot summer’s day, was excellent, too.

Gazpacho at Botin

Gazpacho at Botin

Suckling Pig at Botin

Suckling Pig at Botin

 

 

Happy National Doughnut Day, June 3!

Or, let’s call it National Doughnut Festivus, and celebrate all weekend long!

Happy Doughnut Day!

Happy Doughnut Day!

It’s like a Hallmark holiday, created by the Salvation Army giving out doughnuts to soldiers to World War I soldiers, but perpetuated by people who want to sell us something. But, who cares when it’s about doughnuts!

As a public service, myMEGusta is happy to share a link to the Huffington Post’s excellent summary of special doughnut deals all over the country: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gobankingrates/national-donut-day-deals_b_10223296.html

The concept of fried dough dates from time immemorial, and goes across myriad cultures (think of Native American fried dough in the Southwestern US, or of Chinese fried wontons).

According to Wikipedia, although they won’t vouch for accuracy, the first written appearance of what we consider the modern doughnut (“dow nut”) appeared in 1800, the “Hertfordshire nut.” This also stands for the Hertfordshire National Union of Teachers, so the whole story may be spurious, a practical joke that someone started on the internet.

Doughnuts!

Doughnuts!

Whatever their history truly is, doughnuts are delightful and their variety is endless.

Raised versus cake? Round or holes or twisted crullers? Are the crullers made of cakelike batter or of éclair pastry? Filled? Glazed or cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar or icing? Chocolate? Cronuts? Beignets in New Orleans? Round or holes or twisted crullers? Are the crullers made of cakelike batter or of éclair pastry? Cronuts? Mini-donuts at state fairs?

Beignets at Café du Monde in New Orleans

Beignets at Café du Monde in New Orleans

Where myMEGusta lives, in New England, there seem to be doughnut stores on every other corner, whether Dunkin’ Donuts or Donut Delight or whatever. (The alternate corners house pizza shops.)

A favorite taste memory is the steaming hot doughnuts fresh from the fryer at in seaside Maine, many years ago. Au natural, they didn’t need any sugar or other embellishments.

Doughnuts!!!

Doughnuts!!!

Being something of a doughnut purist, myMEGusta draws the line at sandwiches made by putting fried chicken or bacon inside a sliced sweet doughnut, although this sweet/salty confection might be just as delicious as chocolate covered bacon, which sounds dreadful but is actually wonderful.

Tea Misunderstood

Think those little three-tier racks of sandwiches and scones and petit fours at fancy hotels are all about traditional High Tea? Or the British aristocracy, for that matter, at least in history?

Modern Take on a Chinese Teacup Design

Modern Take on a Chinese Teacup Design

Forget it. Wrong on both counts.

Tea expert Caroline Hope, owner of the “A Magical World of English Tea Time” tour and tasting organization in London, http://www.teaandscones.co.uk , recently spoke about the origins of the tea culture in Britain at Edible London, a four day gastronomic fest sponsored by Les Dames d’Escoffier London, http://lesdameslondon.org/.

The “tea time” culture actually originated in the 1700s at the time of the Industrial Revolution.

Tea Pot

Tea Pot

Prior to that, the aristocracy had been early adopters of the hot new beverage suddenly being imported from China, but this was, by no means, a national pastime. We think of tea as an inexpensive, easy beverage, but that was hardly the case when it was first imported to Europe.

The newly minted commercial class was anxious to mimic the landed gentry, so they started to adopt their customs. They began imitating the custom of offering tea to their guests, very much showing off that they were people of means who could afford this exotic beverage.

Silver Tea Service

Silver Tea Service

Royalty and the really old money had beautiful tea sets, including sterling silver serving pieces and porcelain pots and cups imported from China. The nouveau riche had lovely English made porcelain with Chinese designs, often blue motifs on white, and all young brides wanted a tea set for their new homes.

Unwritten rules emerged that separated the well bred from the gauche: Only the lady of the house was allowed to touch the tea service, never a guest. The tea kept coming unless the guest’s spoon was put into the cup (or the cup placed upside down, which sounds odd by modern standards). Many a French and American guest landed in hot water for not knowing these things.

People would have served guests a tea compatible munchie, maybe a cucumber or watercress sandwich, with the beverage, but that was not the point. This was not a meal, it was an opportunity to socialize and show off the silver and porcelain.

The (wonderful) notion of scones and clotted cream with tea was regional, and they never would have appeared with other distractions such as those little sandwiches or cookies or petits fours. And, the goodies never would have come out on a tiered stand, the type we love so much at “tea time”.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

High Tea is probably the most misunderstood concept.

In the past, High Tea had nothing to do with a fancy and expensive afternoon outing where one sips daintily and indulges in a huge array of fancy pastries. It simply referred to supper (a light evening meal that happens to be served with tea).

When you think of High Tea, think of granny saying to a little kid “Eat your tea!,” not of the Dowager Countess with her pinky sticking out. Or, at least remember the old meaning when you put on a fancy hat and accept that invitation to High Tea at the Ritz.

The Dowager Countess at Tea Time

The Dowager Countess at Tea Time

Land Ho! Pineapples!

Pineapple Greenhouse in the Azores

Pineapple Greenhouse in the Azores

On a recent trip to the Azores (yes, those Portuguese Islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean), myMEGusta was surprised and delighted to stumble upon, of all things, a pineapple plantation.

The Arruda Pineapple Plantation

The Arruda Pineapple Plantation

And this, of course, reminded her of the delicious ways in which this fruit, not the most user friendly, can be enjoyed. A personal favorite is dead ripe pineapple, just by itself, sweet and tangy at the same time, au naturel. For delicacies like pina colada (that calorie laden beverage of pineapple and coconut), you’re actually better off opening up a can rather than going to the trouble of making fresh juice.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Another popular pineapple dish is pineapple upside down cake, which dates from the early 20th century when the Dole company started canning pineapple rings and used this idea to promote purchases.

It can be challenging to find pineapples worth the time and hassle in supermarkets. The traditional pineapple has the best potential to ripen to perfect sweetness, but you’ll rarely find a properly ripe one (look for yellow skin, avoid green ones), and they don’t ripen once picked and shipped, so no amount of counter time will ameliorate the situation.

A new breed of pineapple, called “Golden”, has been marketed for several years. While the flesh is a prettier color, and they are certainly OK, myMEGusta finds that they never achieve the flavor complexity and sweetness of an old fashioned one.

It’s a chore to trim a fresh pineapple, getting rid of all those bumps and spines, and it can feel very wasteful, but, if the fruit is at peak, it is worth the trouble. The intrepid look up the process on the internet, and give it a shot, perhaps taking more care in trimming the eyes and such than some on line examples.

Baby Pineapples

Baby Pineapples

Pineapples can also be grown from the trimmings of that fruit you brought home, but it’s time consuming (think years), more a venture to do for fun than to get your next meal.

Pineapple Door Knocker

Pineapple Door Knocker

New England sea captains would bring pineapples home from their journeys, starting the custom of a pineapple image on the front door meaning hospitality. (“He’s home! Come in and have some fruit!”)

But, getting back to the Azores, unlike the pineapple growing areas we often think of, e.g. Hawaii and Costa Rica, these fruits are farmed in greenhouses through a long process which involves starting baby pineapples from roots, then transplanting them to grow and ripen indoors.

Pineapple Greenhouse Getting Whitewash

Pineapple Greenhouse Getting Whitewash

When the fruits reach proper size, they are given a dose of smoke, which causes them to ripen quickly, at which point they are ready to ship throughout Europe.

Growing in the Greenhouse

Growing in the Greenhouse

Having originated in South America, pineapples were among the fruits and vegetables the earliest explorers brought across the Atlantic to their kings, queens and other benefactors.

It is amusing to think that the pineapples in those greenhouses could be descendants of the first ones which made the crossing on tiny, wind driven sailing vessels which routinely stopped in the Azores as a stepping stone on the way home.

Skate: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

Have you ever heard the old saw about unscrupulous fishmongers stamping fake scallops out of skate?

Mercado San Miguel in Madric

Mercado San Miguel in Madric

Don’t believe it. Anyone who has ever tasted (delicious) skate knows that the texture is totally different, not to mention the flavor.

skate madridIt’s an unattractive fish, when seen “on the hoof”, for example when encountered in Madrid’s Mercado de San Miguel market.

By the time it appears in American markets, or as seen here in Venice’s Rialto market, or on plates, it looks like a fan, not bizarre at all.

Skate Wing at the Rialto Market in Venice

Skate Wing at the Rialto Market in Venice

 

 

 

Enjoyed around the world, skate is best known here in the classic French preparation, sautéed and drizzled with beurre noir (darkly browned butter to which lemon or vinegar has been added, perhaps with parsley and capers as well).

Skate au Beurre Noir

Skate au Beurre Noir

A creative version appeared recently on the prix fixe lunch menu at Manhattan’s db Bistro Modern: Skate Weiner Schnitzel style, served on a bed of braised cabbage with mustard seeds with a chervil scented Bearnaise sauce . It was really tasty, and the myriad flavors made this seafood dish taste very Germanic.

Skate Schnitzel

Skate Schnitzel

In Asia, you’ll find skate in a few guises, notably seasoned generously then wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled, or steamed then served with spicy sauces.

Skates and sharks are both members of the Elasmobranchs family, meaning that they have cartilege instead of bones. Skates (sometimes called ray or raie) are not the same as notoriously dangerous sting rays or electric rays, although they resemble each other very closely, at least to the untrained eye. So, fishermen friends, if you hook one, release it rather than taking chances on getting injured.

The best place to catch this delicious fish is at the seafood store or in a good restaurant.

What’s Easter Without Eggs?

Now, THIS is an Easter Egg!

Now, THIS is an Easter Egg!

As regular myMEGusta readers know, this refers to big chocolate ovoids, uni sushi and caviar, not the things that come from chickens which do not please her at all.

But, they’re still an interesting subject, so long as myMEGusta doesn’t have to face a sunny side up thing staring at her.

There are classic egg dishes that even egg haters will love.

Chawan Mushi

Chawan Mushi

Think of the wonderful Japanese dish, chawan mushi. This silky smooth, steamed custard comes in a little cup, scented with mirin (a slightly sweet, low alcohol sake), dashi (Japanese fish stock) and little garnishes, like ginko nuts, mushrooms and tiny shrimp and/or fish. It tastes of Japan, not of eggs.

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie

Sweetened custards can also be delish. Coconut custard pie is a real standout, tasting of coconut strands inside the creamy custard, with a totally different taste and texture provided by crisped coconut on the top.

Souffles would not exist if not for eggs. Properly made, they don’t taste of egg at all, rather of cheese or broccoli or chocolate or Grand Marnier, whatever. Savory souffles stand on their own, but dessert souffles often come accompanied by a sauce (perhaps a vanilla scented crème anglaise) or fresh berries plunked in the middle.

Cheese Souffle

Cheese Souffle

Incidentally, there is no reason to be intimidated by the idea of making a soufflé at home. You need two things: straight sided bowl (or cups) to cook it in (so it has some support as it fluffs up) well lubricated (and floured or sugared) so it won’t stick on the way up, and a good recipe that you follow to the letter (not that difficult, just not a place to experiment).

Frozen Souffle

Frozen Souffle

Frozen “souffles” have nothing to do with eggs. They are simply still frozen ice creams that are placed in cups with paper collars attached, stirred occasionally so that ice crystals don’t form. When it freezes solid, you remove the collar and it appears to have risen.

Back to the subject of poultry eggs, you’ll find a really interesting type in London’s Smithfield market: tiny seagull eggs. They wholesale for 3 pounds 80, and recently retailed on line for 6 pounds 50. That is $9.17 per egg. Collected by people who are specially licensed to gather them on ledges in Devon, in the southwest of England, most of them end up in gentlemen’s clubs, soft boiled with celery salt. No, myMEGusta cannot comment on what they taste like.

Seagull Eggs

Seagull Eggs

Another interesting travel take on eggs was in Hong Kong in the 1980s, on Egg Street, an alleyway devoted exclusively to sellers of eggs in all shapes and sizes, including embryos of various ages. MyMEGusta didn’t taste this either. Alas, time marches on, and Egg Street was razed for the construction of the wonderful escalator system which now rises up to Mid-Levels. Nearby Snake Street met the same demise.

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