21 January 2009

Fabulous Fruit and Fake Food

While on our peregrinations through the city today, I thought I would share some of the food culture of China.

I have spent most of my life in the northern part of the United States, so I have rarely had the opportunity to buy and eat very fresh fruit on an everyday basis. However, in China on every corner or side street there is at least one fruit stand offering a surprisingly wide selection of produce that would make American grocery stores jealous. This one is outside the gates of our university campus and has
apples, pomegranates, kiwis, grapefruits, cherries, strawberries, mangoes, papayas, bananas, dried fruits and nuts, but what my husband and I repeatedly buy are clementine oranges, ten times better than any box of clementines from Spain, and pomelos, aka yuzu fruit, which are like large grapefruits with the flavor of Sour Patch Kids (I am holding one in the picture and that is a small one!). They are oddly addictive. I have been known to eat a whole one in a day. We are certainly not suffering from a lack of vitamins based on the amount of fruit we consume.

Further afield, in the commercial/retail area of the city where we frequent the larger grocery stores, are many, many, many restaurants. Usually, the facades offer nothing that tells me what they serve because I can't read the writing, though occasionally there will be Chinglish translations. However, this fast food restaurant had window displays of the food available on their menu. About thirty plates in all were available for your perusal. The food was like the fake, plastic food that children "cook" with when they play "house," but maybe more realistic. I especially salivated over the burger and fries (well, not exactly)...

The restaurant advertised the following: "It's not barbecue, it's BBQ! They returned for more when they found out the BBQ CHICKEN were actually good." I think it's a brilliant marketing scheme. They didn't think it would be good, but they tried it anyway and actually liked it.

1 comment:

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