[caption id="attachment_4848" align="aligncenter" width="432"] Hotel breakfast buffet more like dinner[/caption]
A highlight of any design trip to China is the chance to indulge in the local cuisine of Chaozhou, a rural city in the former Canton province renowned for its fresh and mouth- watering cuisine. Busloads of tourists from China arrive here daily to dine at the local restaurants and street food stands that line the ancient streets.
[caption id="attachment_4853" align="aligncenter" width="432"] When not designing dresses, we are cooking up a storm in China[/caption]
Americans that come here for business tend to be fearful of eating the Chaozhou food. They line their luggage with peanut butter crackers, protein bars, instant oatmeal and trail mix. Not moi! I always look forward to feasting on the local delicacies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here's just a taste of what Sydney's Closet
Design Team eats on a typical day in Chaozhou:
The hotel buffet is, by American standards, a dinner menu:
rice soups with dried vegetables and preserved egg (not sure what that means so I skip it!)
vegetables: corn on the cob, whole sweet potatoes (unpeeled), noodles with vegetables, cauliflower and spinach.
starches: noodles with vegetables, black sticky rice cakes and fried rice
dim sum: little buns stuffed with pork
sweets: almond cookies, watermelon and cherry tomatoes
[caption id="attachment_4845" align="aligncenter" width="432"] Food stand thick noodle dish with vegetables spices.[/caption]
After a long morning reviewing samples at our factories designing plus size dresses
, the owners insist on taking the team to a local restaurant. We pick our lunch from fish tanks and a carving station dedicated to just roasted fowl before we head to a private dining room. There, a dozen or so platters and bowls piled high with assorted dishes circle on a lazy Susan. We share the meal "family" style feasting on:
- abalone soup
- oyster omelette
- goose liver
- duck on the bone
- whole fish deep fried then smothered in sweet and sour sauce
- spinach with garlic
- plum juice
We're exhausted by the time the factories drop us back at the hotel around 7 p.m. And who could be hungry again after our midday feast?. Many nights we just snack on fruit and black tea in our room.
[caption id="attachment_4846" align="aligncenter" width="432"] Fresh calms stir fired with 5 spices at food stand[/caption]
Or we head to a nearby street stand where an owner speaks enough English that we can order without a translator. Street stands, often no bigger than a walk-in closet, create the Chaozhou equivalent of "fast food" - except every ingredient is fresh and every dish made to order. Our favs:
- calms steamed in five Chinese spices
- eggplant, tomato and cabbage stir fry
- thick, soft noodles with celery, scallions, spinach and beef. chicken, fish or tofu
No wonder we find the Chinese food disappointing when we return to the USA!. It's a poor initiation compared to the real thing we get to eat when we come to Chazohou!