Rice, lo mien noodles, a variety of meat and vegetable dumplings, buns and deep-fried scorpions on a stick? You name it, we ate it (well, I skipped out on the scorpions). On this once in a lifetime trip to China, I was able to immerse my taste buds into a variety of Chinese and Cantonese dishes and desserts.
I can not believe that I am about to type this, BUT mark my words when I say that, “I am completely riced out (if that is even possible).” In other words, I do not want to even look at white rice for at least the next two months. I gained around 3-4 lbs. in the duration of my two week travels throughout mainland China and Hong Kong. I told myself before leaving that because this was a once in a lifetime trip, that I would give myself a break. I knew going into the trip that white rice would probably be served and/or would be available with each meal and I was okay with that. 🙂
Let me start by saying the food was out of this world delicious; well, most of it. Upon our arrival to the hotel in Shanghai, we were immediately escorted to a buffet for dinner where we were treated with an assortment of Chinese dishes; some of which look familiar and others not so much. I admit that I was a little nervous in wondering how different the food would taste compared to the Chinese food I’ve had in the USA, but there is no need a question which one tastes better now.
To be be honest, after just a few days into the trip, breakfast, lunch and dinner all seemed to blend together. As suspected, rice is often served with everything, as well as sauteed vegetables. The breakfasts all served many American style dishes as well as Chinese. Most mornings I ate an omelet or scrambled eggs with sausage,bacon, rice, hot noodle soup with dumplings and some fruit. During the group lunches, we usually ate family style in which the restaurant would serve a variety of dishes, soups and desserts for the entire table.
My favorite eating experience would have to have been when eating with the local family in Beijing. I am a firm believer that the saying “Ain’t nothing like a home cooked meal,” stays true to everywhere in the world, regardless of your location or culture. The smell of the food floating to the table from the nearby kitchen and the cozy surroundings made it all worth while.
One thing I was not too fond of was the use of vinegar in many of the dishes and sauces. I can remember the very moment I so gracefully placed a spoonful of what looked like to be a very delicious soup into my mouth without any hesitation. To say the least, the face I made scared the rest of the table into even attempting to try it. It’s main ingredient: vinegar.
So what did I learn from the Chinese culture when eating? Tea is served with everything (great for digestion)! Now, how do they eat so much rice and noodles over there and not gain much weight? I’m guessing that it’s the use of smaller plates! Duuhh. Also, by using the chopsticks to eat, rather than forks, they are able to eat less, slower and realize when they are actually full (remember, it takes your brain 20 minutes to tell you that are getting full!)
Oh how I love to eat food, BUT by the end of the trip, I did not even want to look at
any food. I will be detoxing for about two weeks, haha.
MY CHOICE: To indulge into Chinese cuisine while on my trip.
YOUR CHALLENGE: Go out to eat at a restaurant of a different culture and order something of which you are unfamiliar (Not a risk taker? You can still be safe and try something new).
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