Chengdu Travel Diary | Jinli-05
Sichuan Small Bites Sampler – Jinli, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
See these red powders? These are the red dried chili peppers I was talking about. Even though these are the grounded version, they are still as potent, if not more, than their ungrounded cousins. The local here put these stuff on everything they eat, no, I am not kidding, they really do put these stuff on everything they eat, as you can see from the following photos.
Look at what’s on the menu, they even provide you with English translation. If what you read make you hungry and can’t wait to try them, no doubt, you are one of the food adventurist, just like me. If you go eeeeew, no worries, that only make you a safe eater, which is not a bad thing in today’s world. I can’t recount how many times my tummy go awry because I don’t really watch what I ate.
Well, these items you see here are only for this food stroll, and there are hundreds of food strolls around here. This just show you how diverse the food is around here. Notice the price? If you use US dollar, these price convert to just a little over $1 dollar, unbelievable huh? So if you are buying with us dollar, get ready to have a fiesta everyday while you are here! Now can you understand my excitement?
In America, calamari is no strange thing, people love it there. What I am surprise is, it is also a fan favorite in Chengdu. BBQ squid on bamboo stick is everywhere! Who would have known? And I love it too, they cook theses squid on charcoal into perfection! Of course the local will wipe a layer of the chili powder you see from the above photo onto their calamari before they eat it, which I understandably did not do :)
These white cubes are tofu, you know, those high protein soybean products that is suppose to be good for you. Now, the red stuff on top of the tofu however, are fresh red chili pepper, not the dried version. What’s the different compare to the dry one you ask? I have no idea, all I know is that they are very very very hot! How do I know they are very very very hot? because against all wisdom and sanity, I tried them. My friends, that is not a fun experience, not a fun experience at all! Even though I love spicy food, and I can normally hold my own, this is way more than my limit and I am going way over my head for trying it.
So can you still consider tofu as a healthy food after you put chili pepper on it? I am sure it will hurt you instead. If I would have asked my doctor for advice before hand, I am sure he would have advised against it (laugh). I know the locals in Chengdu love hot and spicy food, but I did not know how much until I came here. Come on, chili pepper on tofu? Need me say more? Ha! ：）
I don’t know what this one is call, they have so many type of food here that I can’t remember all of them. It was wrapped in bamboo leaf, very attractive looking. Notice the familiar red chili pepper on top? From the look of it, I assume this must be very spicy as well. Since the heat from the last food I tried still linger in my mouth, I passed on this one, which is probably a very wise decision.
With all the amount of food and all the varieties of food in Chengdu, they all have one thing in common, yup, you guessed it, they are all very hot and spicy. Of course there are non-spicy food as well, but the locals usually won’t touch them. If they do eat them, they will first load it with hot chilli pepper or hot sauce or whatever hot stuff they can get their hands on to make it hot.
To truly enjoy the food in Chengdu, you really do need to be able to get past the heat to eventually allow you to taste the full flavor of the dish.
*Jinli is a popular tourist spot in Chengdu, Sichuan, China