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Feast for the senses

(China Daily)Updated: 2020-08-11

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Geyuan Garden features 60 types of bamboo and rock formations. ZHANG KAI/FOR CHINA DAILY

In the middle section of the lake is the Five Pavilion Bridge (Wuting Bridge), a stone bridge shaped like the letter H, which was regarded as the most beautiful of all ancient bridges by Mao Yisheng, the founder of modern bridge engineering in China.

Looking at it from a distance, I found the bridge and the shadows it cast on the water to be exceedingly graceful and peaceful.

Like many Chinese cities with rich histories and cultures, Yangzhou boasts a vibrant culinary scene. It was here that Huaiyang cuisine, which, along with Cantonese, Shandong and Sichuan cuisines, is considered one of China's four major cuisines, was born.

In 2019, it was named a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO.

Among the famous dishes in Yangzhou is the shredded tofu in soup (Da Zhu Gan Si), which has been a perennial favorite among travelers because creating the shape of a chrysanthemum flower out of tofu that can float in the soup requires impeccable knife skills.

A chef needs to make more than 150 precise cuts in various directions on a small piece of tofu to craft this delicate dish.

When talking about Huaiyang cuisine, one cannot fail to mention the city's famous Yangzhou Fried Rice, which is renowned for its aroma and taste. It is almost impossible to miss this dish as nearly every restaurant has it on their menu.

For small bites, travelers can head to famous restaurants, such as Yechun Teahouse and Fuchun Teahouse, which offer a selection of colorful, aesthetically pleasing local snacks.

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An intangible cultural heritage inheritor practices flat-engraving typography. CHINA DAILY

But it was the breakfast tea, or zaocha, that impressed me the most.

Every morning, one would find diners sitting around old-fashioned square tables in a typical local teahouse, enjoying tea and dim sum dishes such as crab-roe soup dumplings, pine-nut dumplings and wu ding bao (or five-diced buns), a steamed baozi stuffed with sliced pork, chicken, bamboo shoots, black fungus and shrimp.

The fact that many customers choose to also buy these dishes for consumption later in the day is an indication of how delectable they are.

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