Demystifying Food in China: An Introduction

When we talk to people about our travels in China, we sense their fear.

No, not political or economic fear:

Didn’t you have trouble with the language? How about the food? Chinese food in China is terrible, isn’t it? Don’t they eat a lot of dog?”

All fair questions and sentiments, particularly if you've never been to China. We have a real story to tell about food in China. Armed with frighteningly limited Mandarin language skills and a sincere disinterest in dining on dog or innards, we managed to eat like kings on a pauper’s pence during the three months we traveled across China.

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Chendgu: China Begins Here

Friendly people, delicious food, green parks, active temples – even pandas. Why Chendgu doesn’t get more coverage in the tourist press, we don’t know. It quickly became our favorite big city (population over 10 million) in China.

Although Chengdu is not stocked with high-profile tourist sights like Beijing and Xi’an, to quote another tourist: “There’s something that just feels right about the place.

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China: So Many Little Emperors

Some instincts are universal. That virtually all parents want a better life for their children is one of them. Our journey continually bears this out irrespective of the cultural and socioeconomic context of the regions we visit.

But in China, something extraordinary has happened. Two decades of economic growth, an exceptional cultural emphasis on family, and the one-child policy have all conspired to yield a generation of only children accustomed to the full focus of their family's emotional and financial resources.

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Bouillabaisse in Beijing?

Think that Beijing is all about moo shu pork and Peking duck? Think again.

Tapas, paninis, sushi – even all-you-can-eat massage parlors. If you can name it – and eat it – you can probably find it in Beijing.

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A New Breed of Dog?

Tiger Striped Dogs in China

Dogs with tiger stripes?

Is it the next new Chinese dog breed coming your way? An experiment in genetic modification that escaped from the lab with the help of an ambitious entrepreneur?

Or do the stripes wash off after the first bath?

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