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Poet takes his artful approach to food online

( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-09-01 08:21:03

Since 2009, he has been writing articles for several national publications, including New Weekly and China Business Journal, and his online blog posts get millions of hits daily. He has authored four best-selling books about food since 2008-Tao of Flavors in 2015, Famous Diners of Min Guo in 2014, Landscape in the Bowls in 2011, Mom's Stove in 2008. The first three books have also been published in Taiwan.

He is also a guest on and consultant to many food-themed TV shows and documentaries, including the popular series A Bite of China.

His reports start with food, but always focus on people, in poetic language, and that is why his writings are so popular, Er Mao says.

But in Beijing, he sadly concludes, "the bigger the city gets, the less there are real delicious foods".

"Great food ingredients and spices now only exist in small places, where they are produce of nature, not products of industrialization," he says. He loves the fermented beans, the handmade noodles, the craft rice wine and the sausages of his hometown, but laments the disappointing replacements made by machines in big cities.

Such products are taking the place of handmade delicacies everywhere in China, even though handmade foods taste better, he says.

For example, he compares the dried beef he sells online to mass-produced versions. Chemical preservatives are killers of freshness and taste of food, he says, and in his hometown, people use dozens of spices and Chinese traditional herbs to flavor and preserve beef, which will keep the original taste and freshness of the beef, as well as add new flavors to enrich the taste.

Besides, the chewy beef is manually cut, which enriches the texture and taste of the beef, he says.

The honey he sells online is pure and free of sugar additives, and he says customers can easily taste the difference from factory products.

The online shops (Er Mao's Handmade Foods) now offer buyers a few choices, including stewed pork trotters, tails, pork head, dried beef and honey, but will expand as he finds more handmade foods suitable to sell online.

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