Guangzhou is a place where you can find delicious cuisines from all over the country and all over the world, and there is bound to be food that suits your tastes. The embracing of diversity in Guangzhou also means that people are able to eat any food they desire, which has allowed cuisine all over the world to flourish in Guangzhou.
Recipes are usually constantly being developed and improved. However, people in Guangzhou have stuck to the simplest methods for decades, retaining the traditional taste of the city. The documentary The Taste Of Guangzhou and the MICHELIN Guide take us back to the the origin of the taste of Guangzhou.
In Guangzhou, there exists a type of small mudfish that is elusive. Yet the fishermen here have come up with means to catching it, proving that there is no obstacle too tough for the people of Guangzhou to overcome for food.
Over the centuries, the old fishermen who depend on mudfish for a living have developed an effective way of fishing using handmade bamboo cages, anti-slip socks as well as other specialised tools. When the tide is at its lowest, it is the best opportunity to catch mudfish. Look, cast the line, wait, hook — there will be a reward 30 to 40 minutes later. Using a simple cooking method, the original taste of the fish is preserved..
In order to allow more people to taste this dish, the fishing of mudfish has become a tradition to be learned and passed on. The people of Guangzhou adhere to traditional cooking methods, based on their ancestors’ experience, and the procuring of natural ingredients.
The streets are full of braised meat and roasted meat stalls, which have long queues upon opening. From this, you can see how passionate the people of Guangzhou are about braised and roasted meat.
Whether it is braised or roasted goose, the ingredients’ freshness and their preparation are critical to the cooking process and greatly impacts the taste of the dish. The meat is carefully selected for its tenderness and freshness. Goose meat with thick skin and chewy texture is ideal.
A pot of good marinade is the key to flavouring braised goose. Every shop has its own secret marinade recipe, consisting of a variety of herbs, ingredients and sauces, all mixed in different amounts. After washing and drying the goose meat, it should be marinated for half an hour before being brined. During the brining process, the meat will absorb the flavours from the marinade.
Besides braised goose, roasted goose also has a special place in the hearts of people in Guangzhou. Marinating brings out the soul of delicious roasted goose. After marinating, the meat should be left to dry before being boiled and run through cold water. After five hours of airing the meat, the meat is roasted to completion, before lowering the heat.
The balance between time and the strength of heat used to cook the meat is a test of the chef’s skills. The diners in Guangzhou are connoisseurs of goose meat and can detect an discrepancy in taste. Fortunately, the chefs’ cooking skills have been painstakingly honed step by step over the years.
Wampee is called a health boosting fruit by the people of Guangzhou. July and August, when summer is at its peak, is the prime time for harvesting wampee. The seedless wampee is a unique one that cannot be found anywhere else, as it can only be produced through grafting.
The fresh, seedless wampee is big and round, with thin skin and thick flesh, and is juicy without dregs. It can be plucked and eaten raw. The taste is slightly spicy at first, then sweet after. In the hot summer, this fruit can be used to quench one’s thirst, as well as beat the summer heat.
The wampee season is short and the taste of the delicious fruit is a fleeting pleasure. To solve this problem, people of Guangzhou have added liquorice and bulbus fritillariae cirrhosae to dry together with the wampee, allowing them to preserve the fruit longer. A lot of effort is put into preserving and prolonging this taste of summer.
As the people of Guangzhou devote themselves to researching and learning more about wampee, the fruit has been made into desserts like wampee cakes, wampee rice biscuits and wampee sachima. The people of Guangzhou have an endless number of ways to eat their food.
Seeing a herbal tea shop everywhere you go is a common sight on the streets of Guangzhou. Due to the climate and geographical location of the southern city, which is hot and humid, drinking herbal tea to alleviate heat and cleanse the body has become an everyday habit of the people.
Although herbal tea is called liangcha in Chinese, meaning cooling tea, it is not considered tea or cooling. Whether it is neck or shoulder pain, flu or fever, people are accustomed to drinking herbal tea to soothe their physical aches. Even if the food is medicinal, the people of Guangzhou can make it taste delicious.
The tastes of diners are constantly changing with time and traditional herbal tea shops have to constantly improve and upgrade themselves. The original bitter taste of herbal tea has become sweeter today.
As the taste of herbal tea improves, its efficiency and benefits remain the same, making it a popular drink. Whether sweet or bitter, a bowl of herbal tea contains the wisdom of people in Guangzhou when it comes to food.
The people of Guangzhou love to drink soup through all four seasons of the year. As the seasons change, the fresh ingredients the people use to make soup with changes as well.
In particular, the kapok flower, which blooms in spring, is used to make a soup known as “mother’s soup”. During the spring season, it is common to see middle-aged women carrying baskets and bags filled with these flowers to make this popular springtime soup.