Street food in Hangzhou

Today I happened upon what can only be described as a “snack street” here in Hangzhou. It was off of Hefang Lu, otherwise known as “History Street,” a pedestrian shopping area where old, probably restored, buildings line the street, housing souvenir shops, restaurants and tea houses. I’m still a bit amazed that the city can be full of tourists without there being more than a couple of other foreigners walking around–they’re just all Chinese. There are so many of them (as if I could ever forget that fact of demography)!

The snack street clearly caters to their tastes, while at the same time highlighting the ghastly specialities for which Hangzhou is famous. I saw giant snails, fried sea creatures on a stick (with their shells still attached below the tempura-like crust), chicken feet, pigs’ feet, unidentifiable feet, duck heads complete with bills, skewered giant silkworm pupae, scary stews and porridges, and some more appealing treats (to my tastes, anyway) like black sesame candy, naan-like bread stuffed with pineapple, rou chuan(r)–the Chinese take on shish kebab–and pancakes with noodles and vegetables inside.

I was actually still full from lunch and looking ahead to dinner with L., so I managed not to eat anything myself, although I did buy some of the sesame candy for my room, and I’m sure I’ll return to snack street at least once before I leave. I mean, who could resist?

Posted by on November 21st, 2005


Mr. Bill said

November 24, 2005 @ 2:29 am

I will have to inquire from the proprietors of my local chinese takeout if they will sprinkle into the chicken noodle soup a large helping of deep fried silkworms! Sounds absolutely deeeeeelicious … I won’t even have to ask for extra noodles w/ the soup.


November 21, 2005 @ 6:06 pm

I think I’m going to be sick. Or maybe “cic?” I thought those were cicadas…but silk worms seem even more gross. But if they taste half as good as soft silk feels, then maybe they’re worth a try?

As for the entire duck head…well that’s just being lazy. Come on, don’t just cook the whole damn thing, slice it up!


November 25, 2005 @ 2:54 pm

Ha ha ha :).

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