Food

Traditional agricultural markets in China, like the Longdong Market pictured in the photo, are coming under the spotlight amid efforts to stamp out illegal wildlife trading.

The end of wet markets in Guangzhou?

The first few cases of Covid-19 were believed to have been linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, where some live wild animals were available for sale. As the virus comes under control in China, traditional agricultural markets in China are coming under the spotlight amid efforts to stamp out illegal wildlife trading. While these markets in the main never had exotic wildlife for sale, the overhaul taking place is threatening the old way of life for many shopkeepers and market-goers. Zeng Shi takes a look at a microcosm of that phenomenon in Guangzhou.
In this photo taken on 3 April, a poster encouraging people to use serving chopsticks and sit apart is seen as two diners wait for their food to be served in a restaurant in Saybag District, Ürümqi, Xinjiang, China. (CNS)

No more sharing of communal dishes: A revolution of Chinese dining habits?

From serving meals in individual portions, to using serving spoons and advocating BYO (bring your own) — not booze but cutlery — experts in Beijing are setting new dining conventions that will upend the convivial culture of Chinese dining as we know it.
This photo taken on 11 March 2020 shows the exterior of Lin Heung Tea House when night has fallen. (HKCNA/CNS)

[Photo story] The Hong Kong eateries we will miss

The F&B industry has been one of the hardest hit as the world goes through these extraordinary times. ThinkChina winds through the streets of Hong Kong for a look at the eateries and restaurants that have (temporarily) lost their battles with the months of political unrest and the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
In this file photo, a consumer is choosing flour at a supermarket in Taiyuan city, Shanxi province, China. Chinese officials have repeatedly reassured the Chinese people that food supplies are sufficient and there is no need to hoard. (CNS)

Will China plunge into a food crisis? Officials say no

As the Covid-19 pandemic slows down in China, the panic-buying frenzy goes on. Chen Jing reports on people bulking up on supplies across China amid fears of a looming food shortage.
Grilled snakes at a street market in China. (iStock)

Love for wild game: The history and the controversies

The Chinese people's love for consuming game meat goes back a long way, and is deeply rooted in history and culture. But doing so comes with risks, not least the risk of being infected by parasites, viruses, and bacteria. ThinkChina takes a look at how and why the Chinese eat various wild animals, as well as various other cultures that also have a penchant for game meat.
Rongji signature dish, "Ginger Oil Snake". (Photo provided by Joyce Lee)

Snake soup, softshell turtle stew... The end of traditional Cantonese cuisine?

With Shenzhen’s tough, new regulations proposed for the sale and consumption of exotic meats ⁠— from animals wild, bred or reared as pets — restaurateurs fear they will have to close their speciality restaurants offering unusual delicacies. Others worry that the heritage of Cantonese cuisine will be lost. Guangzhou-based Lianhe Zaobao reporter Zeng Shi takes a closer look at the issue.
This picture taken on 15 January 2020 shows a butcher selling a yak's head to a customer at a market in Beijing. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

Why it is hard to keep game meat off the table

A wild peacock can easily cost up to 10,000 RMB, and is a way to show off new wealth, while regulating the sale of wildlife is also a thankless labour, and may not help Chinese officials gain merits and advancements. Medical researcher Hayson Wang examines the Chinese’s gastronomic, medicinal and economic appetites for exotic wildlife and the reasons why it is so difficult to regulate and stop wildlife trading in China.
My family reunion dinner at Fengnan, Tangshan, Hebei Province. (Photo: Wei Shuang)

[Chinese New Year Special] Food changes, and so does the world

There was a time when “fatty” and “oily” were signs of prosperity. Young academic Wei Shuang reminisces that gone are the days of fighting over the last meatball as the post-80s and post-90s generation Chinese become more wealthy. But with material abundance comes emptiness. Is it harder to be happy? The realities of Chinese life hit home as the Spring Festival draws near.
Instant-boiled mutton: fresh, tasty, and heartwarming. (Internet)

Beijing’s instant-boiled mutton and sweet memories of childhood days in Taiwan

With a bowl of Beijing’s signature mutton hotpot in front of him, Cheng Pei-kai falls into a reverie about heavy things like poor sheep sent for the slaughter. But not for long as he tucks in with gusto, lost in the food memories of his childhood.