The food in China is one of the greatest things about the culture. The food is amongst some of the tastiest and more exotic foods in the world. With a population of over a billion, China has a lot of people to feed. To have enough food to feed their ever-growing population, in China they eat pretty much every body part of every animal ever known to exist!
There’s a famous Chinese saying: “Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven is edible”. So check out some of these incredible food delicacies in China that are commonly available… warning: some aren’t for the feint-hearted!
1) Chinese Street Food – Easily available, cheap and super tasty. There is a wide range of snacks available and they are really cheap. If you’re hungry, the staple of street food is simple lamb kebabs. They original came from a Muslim North Western province of Xinjian, but these skewers of meat cooked over a charcoal fire can now be found all across China.
2) Would You Eat a Toad? – Huangshan Stone frog is a speciality of the Anhui province. The black-skinned frogs found there are fairly large and have quite a bit of meat on them, which is said to have a light, sweet flavor.
3) Pancakes – They aren’t like the ones we are used to, vendors will cook the mix in front of you and fill the pancake with a light filling of batter and all sorts of things like sausage or onions. They are then smothered in loads of different sauces. (Are you hungry yet?!)
4) Insect Skewer – If you’re after something new and different you might want to try a skewer with either grasshoppers, sparrows seahorses, scorpions and silkworms. They are fried and all the bones are eaten too.
5) Stuffed Buns (also known as dumplings) – Another common street snack. They’re steamed and piled high in bamboo steamers, waiting to be snatched up by a hungry customer. They consist of an outer layer of heavy white bread stuffed with meat – usually pork, but there are many kinds. Stuffed buns can be thick and bigger or so tiny and delicate that you can see what’s inside.
6) Noodle Bar – A step up from street vendors, but not quite restaurants, are noodle bars and street restaurants. They serve only a few different dishes, like noodles, soup, dumplings and fried rice. Huge, hot bowls of soup filled with noodles are served. In the hot summers cold soup is a popular dish.
7) Not the Norm – If you’re in a restaurant and feeling adventurous, why not try some more unusual dishes, such as duck intestines, stir-fried camel’s foot, caterpillar fungus, pig brains, rabbit ears, snakehead soup, solidified duck blood or pig face.
8) 1000 Year Old Egg – Thousand-year old eggs are a popular dish, but don’t worry – they’re not quite THAT old. They’re made by preserving duck eggs in ash and salt for one hundred days, which turns the white of the egg a darkish gray color. This makes the eggs look ancient, hence the name.
9) Pets – Yes, the Chinese eat dogs, cats, even rats. But rats aren’t seen as vermin; the ones eaten by the Chinese don’t come from the cities, but the countryside, and are said to consume all natural foods such as fruit, grass and leaves. In fact, rat meat is four times more expensive than chicken or pork, and twice that of beef! Eating rat in China is said to prevent baldness, so this might explain the price!
10) From the Sea – Other fish and seafood dishes include LIVE shrimps in brown sauce which are a popular dish – one which you’d have a struggle to put in your mouth.
11) Dim Sum – Meaning “touch your heart”, is a Cantonese term for small hearty dishes. These bite-sized portions are prepared and designed so that a person can taste a variety of different dishes. Some of these may include dumplings, rice rolls, buns, stir-fried green vegetables, congee and soups.
So there you go – is anyone still hungry..?