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Culture Insider: What did ancient Chinese people eat in summer?

By Li Hongrui | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-27 13:21

On hot summer days, few people have a good appetite. Ice cream and fruit sound more refreshing than a bowl of hot noodles.

In the past, ancient Chinese people also enjoyed "ice cream" and specially prepared fruit in summer. Here are three delicacies they treated themselves to in hot weather.

 

Crushed ice. [Photo/VCG]

 

Su shan

Su shan (酥山) is a dish that looks like crushed ice with milk and butter.

Poet Wang Lingran from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) described how people made and enjoyed su shan in his poem Ode to Su He Shan. According to the text, sugar was added to su shan that was shaped into many forms. Sometimes, su shan was decorated with flowers and leaves to make it more beautiful.

"It is neither solid, nor watery and disappears once it touches teeth," the poet wrote.

The su shan in his poem was thought by many scholars to be an early form of ice cream. However, only the royals and nobles were lucky enough to have large iceboxes to create the delicacy in summer.

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