As you can probably guess from the title, this is a post about food!
Since arriving in Beijing late last Friday, we have been feasting non-stop. After everyone finally arrived at the airport, Connie and Andy (some of our bosses) took us out to dinner at a restaurant near our hotel. It was my first time eating real Chinese food, and it was very good! I was too jet-lagged to remember to snap a photo of our meal, but I’ve documented quite a few more that will give you an idea of what Chinese meals are like.
For starters, breakfast is kind of like dinner. Actually, all meals are kind of like dinner. We discovered this when we sat down to our first breakfast in China: corn on the cob, steamed bread, sliced sausage, pickled veggies, couscous-like porridge, soy-soaked hard-boiled eggs, warm milk, and–brace yourself–clotted blood soup. Mmm…salty.
In the U.S., I’m practically a vegetarian (i.e., I hardly ever eat meat), but I hesitate to commit to vegetarianism because I want to be able to fully experience the culture of different places when I travel. I think I’m doing a good job experiencing the culture so far. I’ve tried everything we’ve ordered, including jellyfish, pig’s ear, pig’s liver, pork fat, cow’s stomach, whole fish and shrimp (complete with eyes and fins!), and deep-fried crabs that you’re supposed to eat without taking their shells off!
Here are some more pictures to whet your appetite:
Fried rice, spicy soup, rubbery mushroom dish, flaky dough, many meat and veggies dishes, and, my favorite, the pumpkin dish with sweet sticky rice.
Beef tartar, tofu, lamb, beef, quail eggs, spinach, sweet potato slices, fried dough, noodles, and more. (Cultural note: Most of the foods served at Hot Pot are raw because you’re supposed to cook them in your own personal pot of boiling broth.)
You know you have too much food when you have to double-stack the dishes on the lazy Susan AND use the small tables against the back wall.
So now you probably have a better idea of what Chinese meals are like. I’ll be sure to post more about food (and other things) as I explore more. Maybe I’ll give you a taste of Qufu’s street food next time! Oh, and one more thing: if you’re unsure how Qufu is pronounced, just take another gander at my title. 😉