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Local Food in Beijing


There is no better description of what Beijinge people eat during the Spring Festival time than cuisine provided by traditional snack food (xiao chi, small eats) stores or shops in Beijing.

Huguosi Snack Food Store is an excellent example of the festive food shops. The present place of the store was formerly the site of a famous temple fair in the west area, where the most famous "small eats" food brands keep together. In 1956 a State-owned traditional snack store formed. Today the store is one of the few old brand-name State-owned businesses that still continue this tradition and influence their good reputations.

According to Li Qiuhua, manager, glutinous rice cake, steamed buns with smashed red bean stuffing, a cake with the Chinese character for 'happiness' on it and cake shaped like a fish are some of the most popular foods at the store area during gala shopping. Majority of these have the auspicious meanings as well. For example, glutinous rice cake (niangao) literally means life will be better and better of this year than it in last year. The fish cake is thought to be auspicious because fish in Chinese (yu) means surplus. The Chinese hope they are moneymaking, prosperous and lucky in the New Year.

Other cuisines or snacks available include many kinds of traditional Beijing 'small eats.' Some of the most famous treats are rolling donkey, a soft yellow rice and soybean cake, ai wo wo, a white glutinous rice cake with a variety of stuffing, wan dou huang, a smooth tasting yellow pea cake, and jiao quan, deep-fried crispy flour ring. As this is a Muslim food store, there are also beef, mutton and chicken, as well as many other 'small eats.' in Muslin food, eaters are forbidden to choose the dishes with pork, because pig is thought unclean in Muslim people's belief.

Of course, there are many small food deserved to taste. More food you will enjoy, more understanding on Beijing you will get. Beijing food from imperial cuisine to folk eating will be enriching your tour.


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