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April 18, 2018

Spring Surprises: Fresh Pickings of Dragon Well Tea

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Shanghai -- For 48 weeks out of the year, Meijiawu village is pretty quiet. But in the weeks before and after Qingming, the Tomb Sweeping Festival held every year in early April, the tea terraces looming over the town come to life before sunrise. Tea pickers sweep through the fields, collecting the first buds of the season by hand.Read more
Shanghai -- For 48 weeks out of the year, Meijiawu village is pretty quiet. But in the weeks before and after Qingming, the Tomb Sweeping Festival held every year in early April, the tea terraces looming over the town come to life before sunrise. Tea pickers sweep through the fields, collecting the first buds of the season by hand. These emerald slivers will make up the bulk of the farmers’ annual income, although several more harvests of lesser leaves throughout the year will supplement them.

Like wine from Bordeaux, Dragon Well (龙井 – Lóngjǐng) tea comes only from the hills near Hangzhou (although in China, counterfeit leaves – like bottles of Château Lafite – are everywhere). Meijiawu village (梅家坞村) is just a short drive from the actual Dragon Well (or “Longjing”) Village. Read more
April 2, 2018

Shanghai: State of the Stomach 2018

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Shanghai -- In 2017, Shanghai’s longest-running open-air market at Tangjiawan Lu, which had provided the neighborhood with fresh produce, fish and seasonal foodstuffs for almost 115 years, shuttered its doors. The market and much of the area around the Laoximen metro station were some of the last historical (albeit run-down) structures in an otherwise central area full of expensive new residences. Read more
February 13, 2018

Auspicious Eating: Ringing in the Year of the Dog

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Shanghai -- There’s a joy in staying in China’s big cities over the upcoming Lunar New Year (春节, chūnjié). As people start the “great migration” back to their ancestral hometowns to enjoy the annual reunion dinner (团圆饭, tuányuánfàn, or 年夜饭, nián yè fàn) with their family, Shanghai becomes a ghost town. Read more