Max Miller has examined important eras of history for his cooking show, Tasting History, resulting in very unique dishes. His next episode will focus on a rice-based delight used to mark the end of the Chinese New Year. While he prepares the dish, however, Miller will tell an intriguing tale that will sound straight out of a storybook.
Prior to the release of Tuesday's episode, Miller provided PopCulture.com with an exclusive clip. He prepared Yuanxiao, which are rice dumpling balls associated with the Spring Lantern Festival, Yuan Xiao Jie. These rice balls symbolize family, harmony, and happiness and have become a staple for those celebrating Yuan Xiao Jie. People eat Yuanxiao while trying to spot the first full moon of the year and welcoming spring.
As Miller explains in the partial clip, the story behind Yuanxiao is very similar to a plot from HBO's Game of Thrones. A previous emperor of China, who remains unnamed in the brief clip, wanted to achieve immortality. This ruler did not live forever as he hoped, but he did become immortal in the sense that his writings lived on. Miller explained that the emperor documented life in the Forbidden City like no one else had previously done.
"Daily rituals, clothing, ceremonies and, of course, recipes," Miller says in the clip. "Just like our glutinous rice balls, which should be all formed and ready to boil." The exclusive clip moves forward and shows Miller taking part in his first taste test. He appears pleased and proclaims that the kids are going to love the Yuanxiao.
Throughout his unique cooking show, Miller has recreated several intriguing recipes. The list includes the Farts of Portingale — a Shakespearean treat — and the bread of Ancient Rome. He has enjoyed the experience, but one specific condiment stands out in his mind for a very odd reason.
"I don't regret making any of them," Miller told PopCulture, "but the Garum — even though it was the video that kind of was my most popular video — it made my house smell like fish for a week. And it was pretty horrendous. I kind of regret... I think I would do it differently if I had to do it again."
Miller has found continued success with Tasting History since starting the YouTube-based cooking show, and he has several important dishes on the horizon. He eagerly anticipates the arrival of November so he can recreate a style of pumpkin pie. For now, however, he is enjoying the Yuanxiao while looking back on Ancient China.