One of the tastiest parts of going on vacation is trying new foods and drinks you’ve never had before. It’s possible to sample some of the most authentic international flavors here in America, but sometimes you will need to go straight to the source. Whether you want to go to a big city like Shanghai or you’re visiting relatives in a remote village, try some Chinese food while you’re there.
You can get soup dumplings here in the West, but they’re not the same unless you get them while you’re in Shanghai. While you’re there, take some time to tour the town of Nanxiang, where soup dumplings were born. The difference here is that there is more emphasis on the dumpling wrapper and less focus on the hot broth inside.
Crystal Sugar Hawthorns
With winter rolling in, it means it is prime time for crystal sugar hawthorns. These berries are similar to rose hips, which you might have had in a tea. But to find them, you’ll need to cross the Yangtze River and venture into northern China. They’re extremely tart, so you’ll want something sweet with them. Toffee and sugar are two possible sweeteners, so try both and decide which one you prefer.
Depending on where you’re headed, this could be hard to find. Samsa is the name for Uyghur stuffed mutton bread, and you can find it most often in the western fringes of the country. They’re a delightful street food that you might have trouble ordering if you’re unable to speak the language (China has many different dialects and regional tongues, not just the big ones you may have encountered already.) Essentially, these are sandwiches of wheat pockets with mutton inside All you do is hold up the fingers to represent how many you want. Think of them like they are wrap sandwiches you could order at a Greek or Middle Eastern restaurant, only with a distinctively Chinese flavor profile.
As you can see, Chinese food is much more cosmopolitan and varied than you might expect. Some of these items are downright unique, but after you try them, you’re going to be thirsty. That means it’s high time to try drinking some pu’er tea in the southern province of Yunnan. This earthy tea is aged for at least a year, and in some cases, it can take 50 or 100 years before it’s ready to drink. But once you take a sip, you’ll find yourself wondering why you didn’t try it sooner.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.