All Things Food & Drink    

While traveling in China, don’t miss The Miao Silver Jewels and this delicious baked food

The Miao minority group inhabit the mountainous areas of southwestern China. They boast a series of local artwork, including excellent batik, embroidery, brocade, and silver jewels, all of which attracts tourists to visit their hometown. If you also want to visit there, don’t forget to taste their delicious cuisine “the baked food.” Some places even have handmade silver jewels for sale!

In a Miao restaurant, the waiter or waitress will first give you an apron to keep clothes from being stained by the oil. It is largely a DIY service, and you will have to bake all the food by yourself. Around a big pan on your table, there are lots of different food for you to select, like fish, chicken, leek, cucumber, pumpkin, and some unnamed wild vegetables from mountain. Here’s how to enjoy your meal: bake some raw food in the pan, and when it is ready, dip it in a plate with spicy sauce of pepper, garlic, and spring onion. You will surely like this ethnic flavor! Together with their ethnic staple food like buckwheat cake, rice glue ball, and the special ginger tea, this meal can be really big!

With a long history, baking food is quite popular in the Miao area. One small town with several local tribes has 500 restaurants which serve this food. In the early years they used a terrine-style vessel to bake food. Big as a straw hat, the vessel has a projecting central part and a furrow along the side to contain oil. When used, the central part will be brushed with oil before food is placed on it. While charcoal burns under the vessel, you can smell the sweet fragrance in the air.

There is a story about the origin of this famous practice of baking food. About 400 years ago, Chinese government sent army to the Miao areas to suppress the rebellion. The local people were forced to hide in the forest and made a living on hunting. They placed the preys and wild vegetables found in the forest on tiles, and baked them together with oil and salt. To their surprise, the baked food didn’t taste bad at all as they expected. Later, this baked food became popular in the Miao area, and almost everyone who has visited there loves this food.

This baked food got a gold medal in the first Chinese Gastrology Festival held in 2003.

While traveling in Miao area, you can enjoy this wonderful food, and unique silver jewels as well. That’s really great!


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