That’s the Way I Like it!

Despite many shared meals with the tour group, it was these small lovelies that truly satisfied my stomach pangs and fit my spiritual hunger. The most pleasurable moments of my trip arrived when I followed herds of locales into their eateries…guess I am a moveable feast.  I liked being able to follow my own hunger and satisfy it with goodies gobbled up by the folks that lived there. 

In Xian, I broke from my tour and found the outdoor market. Outside a stall, a group of 12 people shoved and pushed and grabbed as two
ladies spun spider-web like concoctions of sugar around nuts, and taffy. 
 Sticky, sweet and warm.

Then, I stumbled upon a glass cart where I waited 10 minutes to have
this HEAVENLY dough cake transferred into my cold fingers, the heat warming them instantly, and my mouth watering. Immediately, a third of it pressed through my lips, and WOW!

You know how crunchy outside and gooey bread can simply yet significantly improve your mood? Instant elevation…a Chinese “churro” effect, and I exclaimed “wow!” so vehemently, an English speaking youth took my picture and explained it was fried Persimmon cake. It was 30 cents.

Roaming about Shanghai half starved from a morning of good bargaining, I treated myself to a roadside tortilla stand. Each patron tells the maker what he wants inside, and she stuffs it with, in my case, tofu, egg, bean sprouts, onions, and mushrooms. Lunch was 50 cents, and another 30
cents for a pear.

Another incredibly meal ($1) came from Golden fried tofu, soft on the inside like a spreading goat cheese, but doughnut like crispy skin (and the steam was heavenly)

A few of my lovely snacks: Mung green mochi filled with red bean paste, the outside stretchy and almost dough like in consistency and the center smoky sweetness

Steamed bun with vegetables, again steaming and lovely and typical breakfast fare, lunch or snack on the go.

But I REALLY loved the Taiwanese bread rolls at bakeries around China. 
 This one is a flaky onion like dough wrapped around melted asiago
cheese, some pickled vegetable and smoked meat.

This one has tiny shreds of pork flavored with chili sauce, then is smeared over a croissant dipped in custard butter. Yep. Intensely like no-other pastry I’ve sampled. And I would go back for more…

I think I love cheap fare while traveling. In fact, my perfect traveling days involves a European hotel buffet breakfast, stall food through out the day, a mid afternoon café, and following ambulatory explorations, reminiscing and chatting over a nice dinner.

Street Side Fried Fish

That’s the way I like it.

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5 thoughts on “That’s the Way I Like it!

  1. It sounds like you found a lot of vegetarian treats without even trying. That is inspiring. I tend to avoid food adventures because I figure that the meatlessness will be an obstacle (except in places like India — which was heaven). All the American-Chinese food I have been exposed to has been meat heavy — dim sum for example. Or maybe that is because I have always gone with vegetarian hating family members who order in Chinese and think that all I want to eat is broccoli.

    You are such an adventurer and inspiration.

  2. The way you described the food made me experience it with all my senses! 😀 And I feel absolute mindfulness speak from your descriptions. But isn’t it amazing how the feeling of being there in that moment, in that foreign and totally fascinating culture, contributes to the pleasure of enjoying the foods? I think it would never taste the same back at home, even if it was exactly the same thing.

  3. I can’t wait to make it to China, if only for the $0.30 rolls! They look delicious. And you look chilly! I’m glad you found some amazing foods to help you warm up.

    Oh how I miss my European breakfasts…

  4. Oh my goodness, everything looks and sounds so amazing in this post Special K, really. Your descriptions are almost as pretty as the food itself! I don’t even really like Chinese food, but this post made me want t go just so I could eat these things!

  5. I’ve been reading through your posts on China and I feel like I’m back there! I spent a month and a half in Beijing and Hong Kong last summer and I enjoyed myself immensely. I have to agree with what you said in your earlier post, that I didn’t feel comfortable, or like I ever settled in while in China, exactly – and I’m half Chinese! I’m not sure what it is. I’m too American? The Chinese culture is so different in essentials, that, while I respect and honor their traditions, I do not want to live there long term.

    But the food! The wonderful, delicious food! Thank you for sharing what you ate and how you enjoyed it! There’s really nothing like REAL Chinese food, is there? Nothing like Americanized Chinese food. I’m glad you were able to try so many different things! 🙂

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