The Appeal of Crab Rangoon

When I completed the PMP exam and learned that I had passed, my first thought was that the computerized testing system had made a mistake. Despite the ProMetric staff notarizing the print out confirming that I had indeed passed, there was a lingering doubt on the edge of my brain that was sure that I would receive an email from the PMI on Monday explaining the error.

Then I felt a wave of relief. I danced in the elevator on the ride down from the (ironically enough) 13th floor and called my counterpart with the news.

Being the dedicated wife that I am, I scheduled my PMP certification exam on our anniversary weekend, and we had discussed dinner in the city at Tapas Teatro on North Charles Street (a review will be coming at some point this summer). On returning from the exam (also in the city), I was exhausted and declared that what I really wanted was Crab Rangoon.

My dietary fixation with Crab Rangoon, aka cheese wontons, has always mystified Gareth. They are greasy and heavy and usually upset my stomach. As far as comfort food goes, though, they remain in my All Time Top 5. The little packet of deep-fried, melted cheese is definitely part of it. The plum sauce accompaniment create a sticky sweet juxtaposition to that salty, greasy wonton that really hits most of my favorite flavor points.

My two favorite spots for Crab Rangoon are:

1. China Palace, Rt. 40 next to the Waffle House, Havre de Grace. The Crab Rangoon at China Palace are perfect triangles of goodness that take several bites to consume. This allows for the forbidden double-dip into the plum sauce after the first bite when the cheesy filling is exposed. Trust me, it's worth the scornful looks. China Palace features a thicker wonton skin that seems to handle the deep frying without becoming too greasy; however, it gets a little chewy as they cool, so it is best to eat them all at one sitting.

2. Wok To Go, Churchville Road behind the Advanced Auto Parts that used to be Hollywood Video, Bel Air. Facebook Friends will already be aware to my frequent check-ins at Wok To Go. As a regular customer, I am compelled to note the successful execution of creative sushi and contemporary Chinese take-out that Wok To Go has achieved. The quality of the food is consistently good and flavorful, and we have both enjoyed everything we have ordered. The sushi selection ranges from traditional rolls to more ambitious combinations of fish and veg that stay within the highly palatable realm - nothing too weird. The Chinese dishes are all standard fare but with a fresher and more robust taste. A dedicated posting is long overdue and will be forthcoming.

The Crab Rangoon at Wok To Go are wrapped in a very light wrapping with a dollop of cheese in the middle and the edges gathered together like a sachet. The end result is a cheese wonton that is slightly larger than bite-sized but most often ends up being eaten in a single bite anyway. The gathered edges create little creases that holds the plum sauce nicely. While a large mouthful, it delivers a complete package of crunchy, creamy texture, and sweet, salty flavor. I invariably scald the roof of my mouth on the first one and continue in blissful agony until I have cleaned my plate.

So, on the night of my 12th anniversary, I and my newly-minted certification forsook romance in the name of well-deserved comfort. Gareth congratulated me and went along with it. And I remained somehow skeptical of my achievement until I received the official email from the PMI, but never doubted for a moment that choice I made 12 years ago.