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Chopsticks & Beyond: On Track in Tianjin

Updated: 2015-01-13 16:19 (Crienglish.com)

Chopsticks & Beyond: On Track in Tianjin

A contestant at the Chopsticks & Beyond Tianjin Snack Attack event twists mahua into shape. [Photo/Crienglish.com]

Tianjin and Beijing may be separated by a mere 30 minutes of rail, but the two cities have definitely maintained their own unique flavors of culture, dialect, and cuisine. Chopsticks & Beyond took to Tianjin last Friday, where the cooking show invited a number of food industry professionals to take part in the Tianjin Snack Attack contest.

The contestants were all foreign expats, most of whom make their living in Tianjin's food or hospitality industries. The competitors were dealt the tall order of creating three Tianjin specialties: goubuli baozi (steamed buns stuffed with vegetables), guifaxiang mahua (fried dough twists) or jianbing guozi (fried crepe topped with egg and garnishes).

The Chopsticks & Beyond crew teamed up with Tianjin Television City Channel and gathered in a large open hall set up in the Westin Tianjin. The master chefs began by showing how to create the three dishes, and the seven contestants clamored for a view. Anybody who's been in China for a few weeks has surely seen jianbing crepes being whipped up on the corner, though contestants broke a sweat as the chefs demonstrated the minute details required to prepare the baozi and mahua. Is it really necessary for the pinched tops of the goubuli baozi to include exactly 18 wrinkles? That would be for the judges to ascertain.

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