Let us visit Beijing through the taste buds of Reina Yammine, who traveled there for her summer internship in a technology company.
|Reina, Indulging in her Starfish|
She started remembering the mouthwatering fried noodles, shrimp dumplings (Xia Jiao), the meat pie dipped with vinegar and the spicy fish eaten with chopsticks. She was not afraid of trying eerie food, such as the chicken claws, fried scorpions, fried silkworms, and starfish that is crunchy from outside and gelatinous from inside.
The Korean squid is also something not be missed; It comes in a stone bowl that keeps it hot for a long time.Other gourmet dishes were the rice puddings with seaweed, and the deep fried seaweed sheets stuffed with mashed Tofu and marinated with chef's sauce. Aged eggs, known also as "century eggs" are one of the Chinese delicacies, dipped in ammonia to turn black in color after few days, and can be served with Tofu cream. Reina adds that if one wants to indulge into the Chinese food, one has to savor the Beijing duck, grilled with sweet sauce, and covered with rice and cucumber. But if one wants to silence his midnight cravings there, he can grab a Sushi sandwich.
|Silkworms,Snakes.. Take them as you go|
"Chinese desserts are definitely not about fortune cookies, it is a china town creation", Reina claims then goes on rolling delicious desserts such as the rice pancakes, and the exquisite Moon cake, a thin salty dough with an egg yolk inside and filled with a paste made from the lotus seed. As for the Chinese icecream, served on bread and the scoop is covered with foam to be fried. The flavors can range from your normal icecream flavors to ginger to red bean or even green peas icecream.
According to Reina the weirdest food was the potato chips flavored watermelon or cucumber. And the creepiest food experience was not eating those silkworms but rather Macdonald's restaurants. Why is that? Because they play their songs on every corner of Beijing streets, so even if you don’t see the Macdo sign you can at least hear it. The song creeps in your head irresistibly and makes you loath entering the premises of this fast food chain.
|Starbucks Tea, not Coffee|
At the end, Reina argued that it is hard to mimic this genuine food in Lebanon. And getting the ingredients might not be a good business idea because not all of these foods are mainstream food (except the dumplings).
Pearl's Powder: Beyond doubt, Chinese food is an art and the dishes need sophisticated preparation techniques but the food remains humble. This Chinese saying might be a proof "Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven is edible."
Scorpions are the Fast Food in Beijing