Monday, March 7, 2011

Foodie Paradise: Southern China

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but for the past 2 weeks I’ve been away. It might not have seemed odd that I didn’t have any posts for a while since my blog posts were sporadic last year anyway.

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been in my home country…and I do mean the country…of Taishan, China. For our trip, we went to Taishan (台山), Taicheng (台成), and Guangzhou (广州).


This post will cover the China portion of my trip. I also went to Hong Kong for 3 days, which I will cover in another post.

This was my second time traveling to China. I went back about 15 years ago, and I barely remember a thing. What I did remember was that the food was always fresh, and really good.

gary_chickensGary didn’t actually catch his own chicken, but these chickens laid fresh eggs for us everyday!

We arrived in China at about 11:30 in the evening. After going through customs, we were finally out of the airport at about 2 am in the morning (with 17 people, it took a while). I didn’t get a picture of our first meal back, but I did get a video:

It wasn’t moving! I was shaking it with my chopsticks. I promise this stuff isn’t gross! Even Gary ate it!

Our second day back, we met up with some distant relatives of Gary’s. We ate at a local restaurant near the bus station in Taicheng. Seriously, for about $35 USD, we were able to have a 6 course meal, which included fish (in soup and a dish), shrimp, roast goose, and cauliflower (one of the main crops).


The next day, we went to my parent’s home in the village. It’s not actually livable, but people don’t sell their houses in China, even if it’s been vacant for a long time. While we were there, Gary tried sugarcane for the first time.

gary sugarcanesugarcane
Gary trying sugarcane. My aunt peeling and chopping it.

He had a little trouble…there was a lot of drool involved. You don’t actually eat it, but just chew it to get the juice, then spit it out.

sugarcanewild sugarcane growing in the village

There are also lots of star fruit trees that grow. They’ve been around for a long time, and I remember climbing one way back when. The fruits are usually free for all, as long as you let the owner know you’re taking them.



We went to the city to do a little shopping. We had already eaten dim sum, but we couldn’t help but get some street food. We have egg waffles in NY, but these were bigger and fluffier, and what a great idea of them to give each person a stick to skewer them! It was so much cheaper too, at (if I recall) ¥8 for a whole bag, roughly a little over $1.

egg wafflesegg waffles (雞蛋仔)

eggwaffleseverybody going after them once we got them from the street vendor

We also went to a McDonald’s while we were in the city. I know it shouldn’t be a big deal, but chain restaurants around the world offer different things. We picked up some pies, but you won’t find apple pie there! They only have pineapple and taro. They’re also fried, not baked. We all thought it made it taste that much better. I personally like the pineapple one better, but they were both good! This cost us ¥7 for 2 pies, a little over $1.

pie from mcdonald'spineapple and taro pies from McDonald’s

One of the things my parents do whenever they visit is to invite everybody from the village over for a dinner. They all meet around the community center and have an 8 course feast for dinner. Nowadays, the current beverages of choice during banquets are Minute Maid orange juice, coconut milk, and a rice wine. Have I mentioned that nothing in China is made with high fructose corn syrup?? All sodas are made with real sugar!

banquet feastfried rice vermicelli, goose, shrimp, cauliflower, pork, pickled turnips, chicken, vegetables, soup

We went into town where we were looking around at the shops. We heard someone chanting out “豆腐花, 綠豆[sa]” which meant “(tofu) bean curd dessert, green bean tong sui (dessert)”. This guy had recorded his voice and blasted it through a bullhorn. He lured me in from across the street. I thought he had a storefront, but he was selling them from a little cart that he  wheeled around.

The bean curd dessert is a silken dessert with a simple syrup. The green bean tong sui is similar to the red bean one that is served at the end of a Chinese banquet, except it’s made with green mung beans. This one in particular was thinner and drunk through a straw. It was a warm soup, not a cold drink. ¥1.50 which is around 25¢ a cup, great deal! Gary wanted it again afterwards, but we couldn’t find him anymore!

dessert drinkdrinking my green bean tong sui

We were in Guangzhou for the last 2 days of our trip. I have no idea where in the city we were, since we had some relatives show us around. We went to a shopping area and walked around. We spotted a lot of storefronts that had drinks and food. One thing that caught my eye was the fresh cane juice made to order!

This guy fed the sugarcane through a machine that flattened and extracted the juice. He then bottled them up and sold them for ¥5 a pop. I like chewing on sugar cane, and the first few sips were great. After half a bottle, I was kind of over it. Oh well.

sugarcane juicemaking fresh cane juice

Our last food purchase before we left were candied strawberries and candied haw (山楂). The strawberries and haw are drenched in a syrup then hardened. I guess you can say it’s similar to a candied apple. They were a nice sweet treat to end the trip at ¥11 for the 2 sticks.

chinese candy

Thanks for reading through the foodie recap of Southern China. Stay tuned for the Hong Kong food portion of my trip!

1 comment :

  1. This looks like so much fun. Now I want to go to China and eat everything.


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