If you know me at all you will know that more than anything i love to travel.I really believe that once you leave the confines of familiarity,you are able to grow in ways that are so beneficial not only to you as a person,but in how you treat others and your outlook on the world.
Somewhere that really helped stoke my fire for exploration was china. I first travelled to china last year,to visit my very best friend whilst she was studying and i instantly fell in love with the place.There are endless reasons as to why i love being in china but i really want to talk about one of the most important ones for me,THE FOOD!
The food in china is for me incomparable to any asian food i had ever eaten before.The street food is laced with the most amazing flavours bursting with life and vibrancy! Of course there are some really bizarre things that i couldn’t even touch such as the treats from Wangfujing night market (literally a Chinese bush tucker trial market) but the street food culture is miles ahead of our processed hotdogs and burgers.
From the pollution that encloses you in a fog like dome,occasionally leaving you housebound to the absolutely INSANE driving,and the endless need to bargain for the very best price.China is clearly not for the faint hearted. The people you meet and their relentless work ethic,the beauty of its nature and its rich history makes china one of my favourite places EVER!! so much so i decide to move there for a few months earlier this year.
My absolute favourite thing to eat whilst in Beijing has got to be the Jianbing!
Thought to have originated in the Shangdong province during the three kings period (220-280 ad)military strategist Zhuge Liang had his soldiers cook batter on shields held over the fire after their woks were lost.Essentially a really thin crepe made from wheat and mung bean powder, expertly spread with a whole egg,black sesame seeds, magical sauces,chillies and scattered with coriander, topped with a large fried wonton puff and folded to perfection.Cooked to order these are commonly regarded a breakfast snack but of course i refuse to conform so i routinely had them for lunch and dinner.
Vendors start from as early as 5am,with everything loaded onto the back of a motorbike or cart.A large circular hot plate, a few bottles of delicious mystery sauces and containers of ingredients,tons of fried wontons and eggs,they park up anywhere, door ways, street corners,supermarket entrances,ready and waiting for the masses.
Watching them being made is a treat in its self, the vendor never once tearing the crepe or making a mistake.working with such precision and finesse, i couldn’t resist the opportunity of making my own,and of course the old guy who owned the stall almost pissed himself laughing at my feeble attempt.
I ate Jianbings so much so that my Chinese language excelled in being able to tell them how exactly how i wanted it seasoned.When my jianbing lady realised i was her daughters Laoshi老实(Teacher) the look on her face was priceless,The black girl that frequented her stall many times a week was teaching her daughter english!
If you ever get the chance to go to china,i urge to try a jianbing,words can only take you so far,you have to taste to believe.!