Have you ever eaten a hotpot in Shanxi or a dumpling in Shanghai and thought that this is something really special? Well, not only are the Chinese evolving in their industrial landscape, they are also doing so in their culinary endeavours, with a new-found zeal for artisanal produce produced in China, by the Chinese. When people think of Chinese food and drink, it is usually sweet and sour chicken, washed down with some tea, but this is all about to change, with a resurgence of local producers selling top quality produce fresh from China.
So, what delights can we expect to see if we want to participate in this food sensation and why is this suddenly all the rage? Well, noodles from Guangxi that are made from rice guarded by ducks to kill insects instead of pesticides, local rice wine from Yunnan and jerky from Inner Mongolia are all available to satiate the taste buds! In fact, some of the secrets of production are so rare that in some cases only a few members of the older generation are privy to recipes handed down through the generations. These are being added to an ‘Ark of Taste’ so that the secrets are not lost and the deliciousness keeps on coming!
Such a revolution is being driven by the world-wide obsession for eating locally-sourced food and also from the desire of the growing Chinese middle class, who have tasted such artisanal produce whilst on holiday throughout the world and wish to have such food at home, but in line with their local tastes. Middle class Chinese are also more conscious of their health and want to be sure of the provenance of the food that they are eating, as well as its ingredients – even if such reassurance does command a premium price!