Friday, February 13, 2015

The Travelling Nutmeg: How to find food in a new city - Changsha

I spent the past couple days in Changsha, Hunan province. As I prepared for trip, everyone said ignore the weather forecast, it's always wrong they said. Scenario: I packed for 0 degree Celsius weather and ended up in 25 degree Celsius. But complain about sun has no island girl done ever so I spent it out and about.

First things first, I had to stock up on some food. My rule of thumb is find as many nourishing fruits as possible. Longyan龙眼, oranges橙子 and bananas香蕉 are easy to carry and peel/consume and are quick refreshers after a long journey.

Fruit options in a section of Changsha

Really huge Jackfruit..but then, they are always huge

To my surprise, fruit stalls were very easy to locate, just like juice bars in Chongqing. All my favorites were out and this stranger too. 

Ingenious sugarcane slicer

 Lunch was a bit harder. Recently fast food has started resembling wet paper pulp, so I have been relying a lot on local cuisine.  I eventually settled on 干套面, noodles covered with sesame paste, sunflower seeds, roasted peanuts, cilantro, thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers and since we are in Changsha, pepper flakes.

Always mix ingredients and seasonings into noodles for the best taste

I repeated this pattern until I got a chance to go shopping and cook myself dinner. Finding a Carrefoure or a Walmart outlet is always a God send. Focusing on an simple menu ensures that you have more cash to spend on fun things. If you are a Naturalista, try not to get side tracked by how easy it is to find these. 

If you think that I am referring to the potatoes, you are by no means a naturalista

And as the rest of the world celebrates Valentine's day tomorrow, I leave you with these pictures so that you can glimpse how it goes this side of the world. See you next week for the rest of my Changsha trip and my first visit to Chengdu.