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Updated : 2014-10-17

Dingxiang Steamed Pork

Dingxiang Steamed Pork is a well-known dish of the Han people in Dingxiang county (an area north to the Great Wall), Shanxi province. It is said to be one of the local imperial tributes in ancient times. Nowadays, it is a must-eat among other local delicacies. Steamed lean pork slices are covered with starch and vegetable oil after seasoning. They smell extremely nice and appetizing. Regular consumption will supply you with various kinds of nourishments as an alternative to avoid common downsides of meat dishes rich in fat and cholesterol. It is not only an ideal dish for feasts or dinners but a convenient food for travelers or picnickers. Moreover, it is also good to recommend to friends or relatives.

Oat Flour Noodles

As a well-known snack of the Han people in the high and cold areas (especially Xinzhou) of Shanxi province, oat flour noodles (you mian kao lao lao in Chinese) is a Jin dish. Kao lao is a container made from wickers. They are also called ba dou in Chinese. Kao lao lao is a kind of flour made from oat flour. As it looks like a ba dou, the locals call it kao lao.

Sorghum Flour Noodles

Sorghum flour noodles (gao liang mian yu yu in Chinese) is a popular snack for the Han people in the Xinzhou area. It is a daily food for locals who use the coarse cereal of sorghum to make a fine dish. In recent years, some hotels and restaurants have made efforts to enrich the local menu for customers, transforming this dish into a specialty food for tourists from home and abroad. It will be a fun experience to watch peasant women make noodles in the shape of little fish by rubbing the sorghum flour dough with their hands.

Wutai Iron Wok

The guodi (food materials) consists of carefully selected ingredients mixed together. Different kinds of guodi are available for tourists to choose from according to their own needs and tastes. The ingredients include tofu (bean curd) balls, fried tofu, potato wide noodles, frozen tofu, fried potato, Wutai mushrooms, Wutai dried long beans, and Wutai Dongye cabbage. It is said that when Chiang Kai-shek came to meet Yen Hsi-shan decades ago in Mount Wutai, Wu Tai Iron Wok was the local specialty that Yen His-shan treated Chiang with. For thousands of years, the locals in the Mount Wutai area have been using such specialty foods to treat their guests during important festivals in spring or for weddings or funerals.

Fiddleheads: King of Delicacies from the Mountains

Fiddleheads are also known as longtou cai, jixiang cai or laojue cai in Chinese. It is a tender and soft vegetable that gives a lingering flavor and is of high nutritional value. The fronds of young ferns contain carotene, vitamin C, protein, fat, carbohydrates, organic acid and other vitamins, the amount of which are usually 10 times more than ordinary vegetables. Moreover, fiddleheads are highly medicinal. They can clear away heat and toxic elements, promote intelligence and calm nerves. Frequent consumption of fiddleheads helps to cure high blood pressure, dizziness, insomnia, internal bleeding and chronic arthritis. Moreover, they are useful in preventing measles and the flu. With its good flavor, rich nutrition and medicinal effects, fiddleheads are popular in many places throughout the world, particularly in China. They are thus known as “King of Delicacies from the Mountains.”

Fried Glutinous Millet Cake

This is a favorite traditional-flavored cake of locals, and its name is pronounced “you gao,” which means “even higher” in Chinese. Therefore, the locals usually made it as the main dish before children in the family go to take entrance examinations. It is also a popular dish on special occasions such as funerals, wedding ceremonies and housewarmings, or when local people celebrate festivals. The cake is golden yellow and the outer layer is crisp, but the inside parts are rather sticky, but quite tasty.

Buckwheat Noodles

The dish of buckwheat noodles in Dingxiang county features light and tasty soup and rich fragrances. Whether served cold or hot, it is good for people of all ages. Moreover, it has the special effect of stimulating the appetite, moisturizing the skin, blackening the hair, clearing heat, diminishing depression, and strengthening the kidney and spleen.

Yellow Cake

As a local specialty in Dingxiang county, yellow cake has a history of more than 300 years. It is a flat round cake made of flour and baked in stoves. Usually, it is 10 cm in diameter and 1.5 cm thick. It tastes like a sweet crispy bun. It usually has a shelf-life of three months. Enjoy it along with such local flavored dishes as jellied bean curd or sheet jelly soup with sesame oil. The lingering aftertaste will surely be unforgettable.

Sour Porridge

Sour Porridge in Hequ is a well-known food of the Han people in Hequ county, Xinzhou city, Shanxi province. It is said that it was created by accident. When Li Zicheng's troops planned to pass Hequ on their way to Beijing, the locals were so glad that every household put some rice in water to prepare to cook for the officers and soldiers. However, the troops changed their route due to uncertain circumstances and made a detour. As a result, the locals found they could not consume so much wet rice at one time. With the passage of time, they let the wet rice go sour. Unexpectedly, they found out that such porridge was still edible and even tasty. After that, it became a tradition for the locals to put rice in water and wait until it got sour before cooking the porridge. Gradually, they found out that such sour porridge could not only stimulate the appetite and strengthen the spleen but was also good for skin.

Sheet Jelly

The main ingredient for making Wuzhai sheet jelly is potato starch (potatoes grown in green grasslands). It features a unique flavor with good taste, and it is also easy to make. It is rich in such trace elements as potassium, calcium and iron and a variety of nourishments such as vitamins. Free from any preservatives and additives, it is a 100 percent natural food.

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