By Jonas Pohlman, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017

Local Food. Long fingers with nails and greasy skin boiled in a brown sauce. Why would you eat that? Especially the act of eating is somehow complicated. Gnawing the skin from the little bones feels like eating little spare ribs. I heard it is easier to put the entire finger in your mouth to get the meat. The delicacy chicken feet can be found in many places in China.

This experience made me focusing on eating more plant based food such as tofu. In comparison to Japan it is easier to find vegetarian food. You could go for a hotpot where you put selected ingredients into the boiling water to eat them with a good sauce. Also plain noodle soup with mushrooms where very tasty. I could totally recommend eating the local vegetarian food. Especially when you could experience this in a calm atmosphere with some freshly brewed black tea.

In contrast to the local food you can encounter many imported food in a big city like shanghai. In the French concession for example I had the best Indian food in my life. The area itself is famous for its good food. I also had encountered a place where people stand in line with cold temperatures to get ice cream. With freshly made waffles and sorts like salted caramel why not?

What astonished me was the fact that they even imported milk from the European Union to prepare their milk tea. Speaking of milk based products: Hägen Daaz ice cream for example is a very luxurious brand there and is present in many places. It seems to be that the food safety is attracting many Chinese people even when this means that a lot of the things they import are expired.

Do you experience such a clash of foreign and local food in your country?