Monday, October 06, 2008

Enjoying the Diversity of Chinese Culinary Delights

Back in the US, probably the most common type of Chinese food is Cantonese (from Guangdong Province). Once in while, you can find a good Szechuan (actually, Sichuan) or Hunan establishment, but unless you really do your homework, that's where it ends.

In China, though, that's not the case at all. With twenty-something provinces, regional cooking is fairly easy to come by. A new addition to our repertoire occurred on Saturday, around lunch time. While most of you were sleeping, we were braving a rainy, chilly Beijing afternoon, chowing down on some Yunnan vittles at a restaurant called Cai Yunjian.

Found in the Southwest of China, the cooking that emerges from Yunnan is a delicious combination of familiar foods, including potatoes, rice, noodles, and chicken. Our particular favorites were the pineapple rice (served in a fresh pineapple), potato balls (basically, small rounds of mashed potatoes, deep fried...even Z liked these!), clay pot chicken (the broth was incredible!), and "crossing the bridge" noodles (a soup and noodle dish prepared table-side by our fuwuyuan).

This restaurant was a great place to spend a lazy Saturday, sipping tea and eating Chinese comfort food. Hey guys, I hear this Thursday is supposed to be lazy, too. Any takers?



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