These are a few of my favorite things (to eat)

样梅 (yángméi). A gently sweet and sour berry that grows on trees. They make me think of a very mellow strawberry lemonade. They’re in season right now, so I got two pints and ate them all while writing this.

老鼠斑 (laoshuban, literally “spotted like a mouse” fish), cooked Cantonese-style. A super-delicate ocean fish that’s always rather pricey. (This one was Y389/斤 (about US$60) but totally worth it.) They are to the Chinese what prime rib is to Americans, only Americans don’t keep the cows alive in a tank in the kitchen.

苋菜(xiān cài). Sort of like spinach but with even more minerality. It actually has a naturally salty flavor. What’s better than a self-seasoning food? Plus, it turns everything pink.

山药(shān yào). These were more than four feet long. They grow straight down into the ground like carrots, and the farmer has to dig each out of the earth without breaking it. Sauteed, they taste like a cross between potato and taro, with some of the crisp sweetness of raw apple. I also love them Japanese-style–raw and grated with tuna, maguro yamake.

白菊花 (bai juhua). White chrysanthemums. Naturally sweet and aromatic. I chew on the flowers when I drink this tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of it, because it really helps me with my allergies. (There is a waiter at a super fancy, double Michelin-starred restaurant (cough cough Saison cough) who calls these flowers, “chrysansenuns.”)

蕃薯(fanshu). Teeny tiny, homegrown sweet potatoes. These were dug out of the mountainside in Zhujiayu, a small village dating back a few thousand years, in the Shandong Province. Pretty much everything tastes better in baby form, doesn’t it?

One thought on “These are a few of my favorite things (to eat)

  1. Those berries look and sound delicious, that fish doesn't look very pleased by his current situation, and this all looks wonderful.

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