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Nanchang Dining

The formation and development of food culture closely links with the natural environment, property resources, and social psychology of the place. Nanchang is located at a land flowing with milk and honey, where the agriculture is developed and the agricultural products are rich, so the food has a close relationship with the agricultural products. The food culture can also reflect the social psychology, such as praying and blessing for peace, health, children, etc. The food culture is a process to get friends and exchange merchandises, because the Chinese businessmen would like to talk about business while having dinner or drinking tea that may create a good atmosphere for the exchange. The food culture of Nanchang shows the above characteristics in everywhere.

Jiangxi is rich in tea leaves, so there are many Chinese famous teas. And Nanchang is distribution center and great consumer of teas. Drinking tea, tasting tea and opening the teahouses have been the main features of Nanchang in the culture of drinking. According to records, Nanchang has over the millennium history in opening the teahouses, featuring large quantity and large scale. According to statistics, there were about 200 thousand people in Nanchang before the liberation but there were about 200 teahouses and teashops, of which, the large scale teahouses even had 400-500 seats. Generally, the teahouse has the following three functions: chatting with friends to enjoy the time; discussing business with the merchants in the casual atmosphere; and talking about private matters to relax. Even those Nanchang people who would not like to go to teahouses drink tea at home. If guests come, they will be asked to sit down first and then presented a cup of tea, which now has been one of the habits among Nanchang people. Jiangxi is rich in sticky rice which can be made into the rice wine, so drinking the rice wine is the another main feature of Nanchang’s "Drinking" culture. For the marriage, opening of shops, building houses, completing the new houses, birthday or even the funeral of parents, Nanchang people would like to prepare the feasts and invite the gusts. The dishes at the feasts only are “Four bowls and four dishes”, “Four large dishes and four small dishes”, or “Eight dishes”, etc, of which, the large dishes are chicken meat, duck meat, fish meat and pork and the small dishes are fried dishes. While drinking has its rules, in the marriage, you can drink and eat everything to enjoy yourself, you can even play the finger-guessing game while drinking. If you are in the funeral, you can drink little. But in all feasts, you can not eat a lot of rice. As the saying goes, “Drunken man is the great man while satiate man is not". That is to say, only the great man can have the courage to be drunk.

The foods of Nanchang are salty and spicy, because all parts of Jiangxi Province including Nanchang are rich in chili, along with the wet climate in spring and summer and the cold weather in winter, people in Nanchang would like to each the chili to sweat out a cold. Generally, the salty and spicy food in Nanchang is caused by that following reasons, the materials are insufficient in the old times and the economic conditions are relatively poor, eating the salty and spicy food can go well with rice. Nanchang people prefer to eat meat, the main meat foods are rice flour meat, braised pork, pork meat patty, Artemisia fried with preserved pork, steamed rice rolls in thick bamboo tubes, fried whitebait with shredded meat, etc. The names of Nanchang's dishes are artistic, for example, the Poyang Lake pork meat patty is made from minced meat, shredded taro, shredded water chestnuts, shredded cured ham, shredded scallops, shredded ginger and eggs with the proper amount of starch, salt, wine, sauce, pepper and others. It is so named due to its huge size and its majestic appearance liking a lion head, people will fell forthright, courageous and straightforward while eating. Some snacks of Nanchang are also of the names of blessings, such as champion cake and wishful cake. When you hear their name, you cannot help eating. Besides, Nanchang people would like to eat rice cakes in the New Year, signifying you will have good fortune in the next year. Nanchang people cook a round fish on the New Year's Eve, which cannot be eaten at the New Year's Eve family dinner, but on the seventh day of the first lunar month may there be surpluses every year. On the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, Nanchang people eat Tangyuan (Glutinous Rice Balls), may people have a reunion in the next year. Some foods in Nanchang are also in the names blessing the health, for example, it's said eating spring cake on the vernal equinox may be free from back pain; eating rice flour meat on the Beginning of Summer may be free from hunger and heat stroke; eating "Laba porridge" on the Eighth Day of the Twelfth lunar month may be health in the year, which containing sticky rice, longan, lotus seeds, peanuts, red jujubes, walnut-meats, sesame and red beans.

Junshan Lake Hairy Crabs Junshan Lake, known as "Sun Moon Lake" in the ancient times, the lake has more than 1,000 years of history in hairy crabs. When Yang Zhonghong and Fan Deji, scholars in the Yuan Dynasty, avoided the chaos in the Junshan Lake Academy, they said, "Only five days for sighting the view are not enough, while another five days will be better. Beautiful clothes and high ranking will not last long but do the friendship. Party will not available always but the poem will be permanent. The feast will not be provided but the hairy crabs will be fresh always. Where to visit the day of the next year? Who will come here to enjoy the chrysanthemum under the moonlight?" The poem reflected that the poet had a passion for the Junshan Lake and the delicious crabs. The crabs of Junshan Lake were the wild crabs of the nature, however, since 1981, the artificial breeding of crabs has begun to be used, and now it has lasted for twenty-five years. The Junshan Lake is surrounded by mountains, farmland and trees, and is free from plants, therefore, the water of the lake is clean and free from any pollution, furthermore, the aquatic plants flourish, which provide rich foods to the crabs, then the Junshan Lake hairy crabs are characterized in blue back and white belly, golden claws and yellow hairs, large size and pure variety, good taste and rich nutrients, etc, it can be concluded as "Big, fat, pure, fresh and sweet". Junshan Lake Hairy Crab have been granted the trademark registration certificate of the State Administration for Industry & Commerce of the People's Republic of China, the "A grade green food" certificate of China Green Food Development Center, "No-hazard Agro-food Origin Certificate" of Agriculture Department of Jiangxi Province and "Famous Brand of Jiangxi".