Saturday, October 6, 2012

Wacky Cakes, Extravagant Teas, and Everything Else

Is your birthday coming up? Maybe a special occasion?

Why not special order one of these extraordinary, exquisite, and possibly slightly awkward fish cakes? Despite its ornate fishy look, it is supposed to be quite the pleasing, luscious dessert. Please don't fight over who gets the slice with the delicate fish-rider. :)

My lovely wife. (Click to read fine print.)

Husbands: Forgot it was your anniversary? Forgot to get her something? Need to make it up to her?

Why not start with gifting her with a delightfully flaky Super Wife Cake? You know she'll love being called a "super wife"! Gents, they really do deserve the title! I know mine does!

And then there is the decorative Chinese Mooncake! Last Saturday was Mid-Autumn Festival here in China. One of the ways this holiday is celebrated is by getting together with friends and family and eating delicious mooncakes. They come in many different flavors from meat to sweet egg to nuts and fruits and even beans-- have I convinced you yet? As much as Rachel and I loved them they were dense enough to be too much for one person to consume. Don't tell anybody, but majority of our students dislike mooncakes; so, I might not be telling the whole truth about how much "we" loved them...just sayin'. I'm sure when we are older we will love them for reals!

A friend of ours bought us four boxes of these.
We had no clue what to do with 16 mooncakes-- paperweights maybe?

Enjoying my very first Chinese Mooncake!

During the week long Mid-Autumn and National Day holiday, Rachel and I, along with other foreigners, went to the famous Muslim quarter (also called Islamic Street) in Xi'an, Shaanxi province (post coming soon). One of the fascinating things about this place was all the stunning tea one could buy.

(Bz Herms...this one's for you, my friend. Miss ya, pal.)
One kind we bought was the stunning Blooming Jasmine Flower Tea. One may relieve headaches and indigestion by drinking this and also avoid wrinkles and blemishes by applying its leaves. Best of both worlds, no?

Starts out as a ball...

...slowly begins to blossom...

...into a beautiful, fragrant flower!
You can buy these flower balls for a whopping 5 yuan...or $0.79 USD. It'll be enough tea for you and five of your best friends to sip on (and once they leave, you can give yourself a rather cheap facial)! 

Lastly, you may be wondering what we eat here in China. 

To my surprise, we haven't really seen any of the Chinese food here (in Henan province) that we would typically eat back home. 

Here are a few pictures of what we eat here. Some are fancy and others are not so fancy.  Most restaurants we have been to are family style. All platters are meant to be shared between 4-6 people.

Also, so far in China, we have not been able to get a cold glass of water with our meals. Culturally speaking, hot water is highly preferred over cold water. Cold water will get you sick, didn't you know?

This is something I hadn't ever seen before:

Hairy Crab.

Dumplings galore... 

Dumplings! All this for $3.80 (USD).
We love our jiaozi 

Seafood (octopus?) Dumplings 
We hope this wasn't a Lion Dumpling we just ate!
Veggie Dumplings
Free meals at our foreign teacher's cafeteria...

Biannual treat for Sias foreign teachers. Loaded with all sorts of western treats!
Local restaurants...
You make a wrap with these ingredients-- like a Chinese taco

Grilled peppers...quite hot
Grilled green beans and asparagus
Chicken with a flower!

Western restaurants...
Pizza Hut in China does not equal Pizza Hut in America (expensive + weird cheese)!

Not a common practice in the USA but very popular in China 
"Life tastes better with KFC" -according to some Ming dynasty warriors!!
Fine dining...

Tofu, mushrooms, and bok choy

Lotus Salad...has quickly become one of our favorites
Presentation like this is very rare
Left side of a chicken. See the head?
I hope you enjoyed reading this food post. As you can probably tell, we are really enjoying our stay in China.

Look forward to a post on "Street Food" in the near future. You don't want to miss it!



  1. Thank you for the Chinese Cuisine tour! Good to know you two aren't starving over there=) Loved the writing, guys would make great journalists!!
    Love you and miss you both!!

  2. haha... both jealous and slightly grossed out. seriously expecting you guys to send me over a fish cake for my birthday...