China: Yunnan: #18 Fresh Food Markets in Kunming (part b)

After looking at the food in the market with a view to choosing ingredients for a hypothetical meal, now I just looked for interesting items for sale that are not so common at home.

DSC01349 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01349 © DY of jtdytravels

These were unusual… twisted, squat, knobbly baby pumpkins.

DSC01350 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01350 © DY of jtdytravels

A popular food in Asia… bamboo shoots, for sale here both trimmed and untrimmed.

DSC01356 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01356 © DY of jtdytravels

Beautifully coloured Okinawan spinach (?Guan Yin Cai); Gynura crepioides

DSC01322 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01322 © DY of jtdytravels

Pink mushrooms? No. Not really. Just the light through pink shade cloth!

DSC01335 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01335 © DY of jtdytravels

Live baby tortoise! I must say, it’s difficult to think of eating these.

DSC01334 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01334 © DY of jtdytravels

Now here’s a worry.. prawns, not cooked, not on ice… and no sea anywhere near!

DSC01358 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01358 © DY of jtdytravels

Dried ‘butterflied’ ducks… heads down, tails up… not sure how to prepare these.

DSC01347 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01347 © DY of jtdytravels

Chicken feet and chillies… a popular dish. Nothing wasted here.

DSC01354 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01354 © DY of jtdytravels

I most certainly was NOT ready to try these eggs known variously as Century Eggs, Thousand Year Old or Preserved eggs.  They are prepared by wrapping the eggs in a mix of clay, straw, ash, salt and lime (powder) and buried for ‘months’. Not for me… but a delicacy in China.

DSC01326 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01326 © DY of jtdytravels

A sausage could be interesting. Wonder what’s in them?

DSC01346 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01346 © DY of jtdytravels

On the other hand, I could be tempted by freshly cooked, wholemeal flour, pork buns!

DSC01351 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01351 © DY of jtdytravels

More buns waiting to be steamed.

DSC01339 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01339 © DY of jtdytravels

Chestnuts were in season… not my favourite nut.

DSC01343 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01343 © DY of jtdytravels

But these… walnuts straight from tree to buyer… oh yes.

DSC01337 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01337 © DY of jtdytravels

By now we were getting a little weary… but at least we weren’t sleep walking!

DSC01348 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01348 © DY of jtdytravels

But it was time to buy something to take home for dinner… maybe tomatoes? Vine ripened, fresh picked… tomatoes that taste like tomatoes should taste. Not the tough skinned varieties in our supermarkets that are so ‘travel prepared’ that they bounce like a ball… and need salt for taste.

DSC01344 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01344 © DY of jtdytravels

In the end, we settled for asparagus… again fresh picked by hand.

DSC01366 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01366 © DY of jtdytravels

Fresh asparagus in hand, we went back to the apartment where Kenzo cooked up a storm for dinner… left-over duck from the night before with kidney beans and the asparagus, all washed down with millet soup and a bottle of wine… and an enjoyable view from the apartment at dusk.

I woke to a pleasant morning, 210C (700F) but, on this one, I had to return to Beijing and leave behind a couple of really good friends.  I’d very much enjoyed my time with Kenzo in Jianshui and wish that Ross could have joined us.  Apart from Kenzo’s company, I think I enjoyed Jianshui so much because it took me to a place that I knew absolutely nothing about.  It was a new adventure, every thing was new… except the old village.  It was not far removed from the way it must have been many hundreds of years ago.  Brilliant!

And, Kunming, well, I’d been there before, some 16 years ago, but it had changed so much that I didn’t recognise a thing.  Hopefully, it won’t be another 16 years before I return.

And, hopefully it won’t be too long before I return to share more of my explorations to parts of our amazing world not yet on the general tourist trail. Nothing booked at the moment though…

Until then, Jennie will be adding more of our travel posts on our other site:

www.jtdytravels.com

Do join us there for more armchair travels

or revisit the places on this blog.

David

All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

If you enjoy these armchair travels, please pass our site onto others

www.dymusings.com

more of our travel stories and photos can be found on

www.jtdytravels.com

More of our travel photos are on

www.flickr.com/photos/jtdytravels

.

 

China: Yunnan: #16 More exploring in Jianshui

Early morning on our final day in Jianshui and, quite by accident, we walked into an area in the old town that is undergoing restoration… a big make over.

DSC01283 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01283 © DY of jtdytravels

Billboards explained what was being attempted.  It was good to have Kenzo to translate!

DSC01284 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01284 © DY of jtdytravels

A computer generated overview of the whole area was on show. It appeared to be quite an ambitious project but one that will make Jianshui an even more interesting place to visit.

DSC01275 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01275 © DY of jtdytravels

The most imposing building in the complex is the Chongwen Pagoda, also known as the Wenchang or Wenfeng Pagoda. The thirteen story brick structure was built in the 13th Century during the Yuan Dynasty.  It has been repaired a number of times since, including 1555 and between 1654 and 1655.  

DSC01280 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01280 © DY of jtdytravels

A nearby two-storied building in dire need of some TLC… and a lot of hard work.

DSC01279 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01279 © DY of jtdytravels

The other side of the same building.  New bricks ready for the work of restoration.

DSC01286 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01286 © DY of jtdytravels

We walked on, soaking up the atmosphere. This was the colourful entrance to a plastic flower and plant shop. One of my great hates in life; plastic flowers… but they were colourful.

DSC01287 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01287 © DY of jtdytravels

Goods were being carried to a market in the traditional way.

DSC01293 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01293 © DY of jtdytravels

You could buy almost anything you could possibly want.  Anybody for some geese?

DSC01294 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01294 © DY of jtdytravels

 …or maybe a sad looking tortoise. This one no doubt on its way to a soup pot.

DSC01299 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01299 © DY of jtdytravels

Frogs for dinner? You don’t find these on our supermarket shelves.

That’s what I love about markets… no shelves filled with cans and boxes of ‘food’.

DSC01297 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01297 © DY of jtdytravels

Moon Cakes looked somewhat more palatable. It was coming up time for the big Moon Festival in China so there were lots of feverish activity taking place in this bakery.

DSC01298 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01298 © DY of jtdytravels

Fresh fruit looked really good… Plump bunches of grapes and pears.

DSC01300 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01300 © DY of jtdytravels

Various grades of sunflower seeds, peanuts and lentils.

DSC01302 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01302 © DY of jtdytravels

Various grades of rice wine… a necessary ingredient in much Chinese cooking.

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The pork buns were being freshly made and looked very good.

DSC01301 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01301 © DY of jtdytravels

A happy group of smokers!

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An interesting form of transport for people and goods coming into the market.

We began to think about getting lunch before we had to catch the train back to Kunming. Kenzo ducked down a small non-descript sort of lane.  I followed, but I’d never have ventured into this lane without Kenzo leading the way.  We had to literally duck down to pass through a low door way and into a tiny courtyard.  Inside there was a middle aged lady sitting on the lowest of stools trimming a green leafy vegetable. And so we stayed there for lunch… a good choice.

DSC01304 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01304 © DY of jtdytravels

Delicious stir fried, fresh leafy greens…

DSC01305 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01305 © DY of jtdytravels

… a slow-cooked chicken dish…

DSC01306 © DY of jtdytravels

DSC01306 © DY of jtdytravels

… and at last, some crispy skinned, succulent duck. Head and all!

‘Twas a very good meal to last us for the journey back to Kunming by train.

More from Kunming anon.

David

All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

If you enjoy these armchair travels, please pass our site onto others

www.dymusings.com

more of our travel stories and photos can be found on

www.jtdytravels.com

More of our travel photos are on

www.flickr.com/photos/jtdytravels