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Posts Tagged ‘China’

A hot air balloon in Yangshuo China.

Source: Grant Hollingworth

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An artistic coffee sold in China. This was taken by Dainis Matison in Shanghai.

Source: Dainis Matison’s Flickr

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Liuzhou, China

Source: kenner116’s Flickr

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Ready for Round 2? Instead of pairing together countries with similar food traditions, let’s look at two cities with vastly different culinary tastes. In this week’s edition, Kharkiv is in one corner representing Ukraine, and in the other corner is Liuzhou, the representative for China. Let’s get started!

Kharkiv, Ukraine

Ukraine has an abundantly vibrant food culture, to the point where picking out a few dishes to talk about is particularly difficult! So as not to ramble on indefinitely, I chose two main dishes that are essential for any Ukrainian cook.

Borscht

For example, did you know that Borscht is a Ukrainian dish? A vegetable soup characterized by the main ingredients of: cabbage, beets, potatoes, onions, garlic, sour cream, and dill. There are millions of recipes out there for different types of Borscht, but there is no right way to make it. Nonetheless, it is a national soup of Ukraine! Here is one site, and another, that have more information about Borscht (with recipes).

Varenyky

Borscht with a side of bread is one meal Ukrainians eat. Another is Varenyky. Varenyky is similar to Polish pierogi, Italian ravioli, or Chinese wantons. They are pockets of dough filled with some form of stuffing. Common fillings are potato, potato and cheese, cottage cheese, blueberries, and cherries. Typically, Varenyky are boiled and served with onions and sour cream. Instead of ham or turkey, Varenyky are the traditional Christmas Eve meal in Ukraine. You can find a recipe here.

Liuzhou, China

Chinese food in the US can range from Kung Pao Chicken to Pork Fried Rice to fusion restaurants mixing Chinese dishes with those from another culture. Although it is not too surprising that the regional specialties of Liuzhou tend to be missing from these menus. Liuzhou, in general, is known for two foods: snails and dogs.

Yes, that does say dog. No, there will be no recipe provided for a dog-based dish. If you are visiting Liuzhou, no need to panic, you will not be served dog without your knowledge.

English: snail shell

Instead, let’s focus on the snail dish called Luosifen. Finding a recipe for this dish has proven rather difficult, as when you type the name into Google, it thinks you mean “Lucifer.” Luckily, there are a few sources that at least describe this dish. It is a snail soup with chili, vegetables, and rice noodles. Luosifen is considered a unique street food from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (which happens to be where Liuzhou is located). In a news article featuring a specialty restaurant called Mr. Luosifen, the ingredients are listed as: rice noodles, fermented bamboo shoots, dried turnip, and dried papaya. You can also add eggs stewed in snail soup or pickled beans. Here is more information about Mr. Luosifen and the other specialties they offer.

中文: 小籠包(上海市) 日本語: 小籠包 English: Xiaolongbao Bah...

Liuzhou’s location and diverse population mean that traditional foods differ between each household and each restaurant. Cantonese style cooking has been influential, with Dim Sum and Char Siu available on many menus. Hunan style cooking is also prevalent, with spicy chilies and garlic featuring in many meals. Households from the Dong and Miao minorities have separate specialty dishes that are also rather unknown in the US.

So as not to overwhelm everyone, I’ll leave a more in-depth search of these specialties for a later post.

Have a good day!

Sources:

Liuzhou Eating

Cantonese Cooking

Hunan Cooking

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A picture of Downtown Liuzhou — the Bridge in the forefront is called the Wen Hui Bridge.

Source: JimMahler’s Flickr

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This picture shows Liuzhou Square during a National Festival last October.

Photo courtesy of Stacie Martin.

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This celebratory picture was taken during festivities opening a new International Friendship Park in Liuzhou, China!

Thank you to Sister City member Stacie Martin for sharing this picture!

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