My First Authentic Chinese Cuisine
By: Ariana Puentes, CCI Greenheart Work and Travel Employer Services Manager
On December 9th, 2016, I left on my first trip to China! I flew half way around the world to hire participants at two Job Fairs hosted by our partner, EachFuture. In just 6 days, I traveled to 3 different cities! I had a wonderful time admiring the different historical architecture in Beijing, wandering down cobbled-stone streets in Harbin, riding a high-speed train to Changchun, and of course, meeting our participants!
Despite all the new things I experienced, nothing stood out to me more than the cuisine! I was shocked by how different Chinese food is in the United States compared to China. Here are the top 5 things I learned regarding authentic Northern Chinese food:
- Hot! Every dish is made with a BIG kick. There are very few dishes that aren’t spicy. The heat comes from the peppers in the dishes. Fortunately, they are easy to pick out!
- Duck, duck, peaking! This dish is called “Peaking Duck” and it’s one of China’s delicacies. This small animal, surprisingly, has a lot of meat and is carved off tableside by the chef. It’s served with vegetables, dipping sauce, pancakes and Bao buns to wrap it in.
- Hot pot. I actually had this at the cafeteria of one of the universities where we were interviewing participants. We were given bowls and filled them with whatever ingredients we wanted (meat, seafood, noodles, vegetables, and sauces). After I seated myself in front of a hot plate with a small tin pot of boiling water, I was told to add my ingredients. Once cooked, I transferred the food from the pot to a bowl. A make-it-yourself soup station!
- Candy! Strawberry, mangos, pineapples, and other fruits all stacked on a skewer, coated in a sugar shell. I don’t know the name, but I learned this is a common treat in Northern China. I had to try!
- Family Style. In China, it’s typical to order a variety of dishes that are brought out as soon as they are ready. Also, all tables have a rotating disc, which the food is placed on. Instead of passing dishes around, you swivel the food around for everyone to taste. This creates less mess and disruption to conversations!
Experience authentic cuisines and hire students at one of our International Job Fairs!