To understand the culture of a place, start with food.
Foodies in Beijing now have the opportunity to enjoy a real feast for the palate at the Anhui Food Festival underway at Minzu Hotel. Running through the end of July, the gourmet event serves up authentic Anhui foods to tempt Beijing dinners.
Anhui cuisine is one of the eight major cooking styles in China's culinary culture. Originating from ancient Huizhou - the conjunction of East China's Anhui and Jiangxi provinces - the cuisine spread across China as Huizhou merchants gained nationwide influence during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911).
The festival has invited top chefs from Anhui, with ingredients and materials sourced from the province to ensure freshness and local flavor, according to management of Huishang Birthplace, a co-organizer of the festival. The delicacies are cooked following traditional recipes and methods, but are presented with modern aesthetics in plate arrangement and decoration.
Here are seven foods you cannot miss during the month-long festival.
Maofeng shrimp in the clouds and mist of Huangshan MountainTender and fresh, the river shrimp also has a hint of green tea flavor after being boiled with Anhui's maofeng tea. The plate becomes artistic as solid carbon dioxide meets hot water and creates the effect of mountain mist enshrouding a tiny ornamental tree. Maofeng tea, a type of green tea harvested from Anhui's famous Huangshan Mountain, ranks among the top 10 Chinese teas. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]