Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bite me: 我们跟土家族一起吃吧!Lunch with the Tujia people

People often compare life to a 'Rat Race' but across here I feel more like a part of an ant colony. We  They all walk the same, headed in the same direction and if one person breaks pattern then confusion is amiss. But if you are one of those who think that all Asians look alike, like me, you would discover differently.

China is mainly comprised of the Han nationality, along with 55 recognized minorities. But you don't notice it at first. I'll admit I was one of those who though everyone was cut from the same cloth and at one point even distinguished my classmates by hairstyles. But now, I graciously admit my error and even discovered that most locals have a hard time distinguishing me from other foreigners. So please, no need to take offense. Now back on topic.

The Tujia minority (土家族) are considered the native citizens of Chongqing and are known as a cultivating people. Grains and provisions such as potato accompany sour and spicy meats.

What struck me at first, wasn't the food but the bowls. In previous articles I have shown that dishes are served on personal sized plates which are impossible to finish by one person but at this restaurant, there were the cutest bowls for a perfect bite size.

Personal sized plates

Various dishes prepared Tujia style

Actually everything had a rustic and earthy feel to it, including the seating and decor and you could really experience the spirit of the people. Definitely have to note that the rice was mixed with corn grain, which is a rare find but a true testament to the essence of Tujia.

Without a doubt, the flavor and heart of this new discovery has guaranteed it as one of my weekly lunch stops.