- Desserts – Not as Sweet as They Look
Along the crowded streets of the large cities in China are what seems like never-ending storefronts. As you walk, you will see these wonderful bakery and pastries storefronts. Inside are delicious looking cakes and pastries, and you may become excited to eat some sweet desserts. However, this will never be the case in China.
If you see dark brown bread that looks like chocolate bread, it is not at all chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth in China, it can fixed by buying some chocolate (like Hershey’s) at stores, but the bakery is not for people who grow up on sugary desserts, cookie dough and love cake… that takes like cake.
- Burger King, McDonald’s & Dairy Queen
After eating traditional Chinese food for a few weeks, I saw a Burger King and almost lost my mind in excitement (not something I have ever done in the U.S.). Nationals love red spice, so everything is spicy. Other than that, it is almost like you are back in America, except everyone is taking pictures of you as you eat.
The McDonald’s was pretty much the same but with a smaller menu and a weird looking bean pie instead of apple. If you see a Dairy Queen, they have green tea ice cream – check it out!
3. Scorpions, Crickets, Ants, Seahorses
Name it. If it chirps, bites or looks super cute in an office aquarium, you can probably find it on a stick moving around until they quickly cook it and sell it for about $6 in American cash. Yum!
4. Wu Mart
I think of Wu Mart like Wal-Mart, this magical place in China where I can find bamboo chopsticks, all the candy I can’t read and tea I can’t pronounce. They also have a meat market, but unlike the meat sections I am use to, they just lay out the meat on a table covered in ice and you grab a thin plastic bag (like you would put fruit in at Wal-mart) and just put your chicken leg or whatever else you want in it to take it home.
5. Ice, Ice, Nada
I love ice in my soft drinks, sweet tea, green tea, water, lemonade.. You get the point. However, they feel like cold water will get you sick so you will be served hot water or hot tea at your meals and bottled drinks won’t be refrigerated at stores.
6. Fruit on the streets
By far my favorite! Along the streets you will see people selling large, beautiful-looking fruit with more flavor and less money than in the U.S. However, if you buy anything where you eat the peel (like an apple), wash it.. then wash it again… and just go ahead and wash it a third time and make sure the water is not absorbed into the fruit. If it is, toss it and try another.
Karie’s Helpful Hint:
If you’re in the larger tourist cities, they’ll be McDonald’s and Starbucks and other American-style restaurants that you can point to the familiar looking options on the menu to order. If you are in areas that are not common tourist destinations, when in doubt, go for dumplings (my favorite is mutton) and rice.