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3 kinds of peculiar eggs in China

peculiar eggs in China

The masses regard food as their prime want. The Chinese look upon eating as the most important thing of all.

民以食为天,中国人把吃看作是最重要的事情。

 

Over the past several thousand years, the Chinese have eaten almost everything with legs, apart from tables and chairs. They have also invented many unusual dishes. Even when presented with the same ingredients they will have many different ways of eating them. So today we'll talk about several kinds of eggs peculiar to China.

在几千年的历史中,除了桌子和椅子,中国人几乎吃遍了所有长腿的东西,还发明了很多奇特的食物。即使对同一种食材,也会有很多种吃法。今天我们就说说几种中国特有的"蛋"。

 

My favourite snack is called 'tea eggs'. You can buy 'tea eggs' at roadside stalls You can smell them cooking from far off. 'Tea eggs' are boiled with tea and soya sauce. The shells are split open and in this way pleasant decorative patterns are left behind on the surface of the egg.

我最爱吃一种小吃叫做茶叶蛋。茶叶蛋可以在路边的小摊买到,远远就可以闻到它的香味。茶叶蛋是用茶叶和酱油一起煮的。鸡蛋壳是裂开的,这样,鸡蛋的表面就留下了好看的花纹。

 

'Tea eggs' are a kind of snack whereas 'salted duck egg' can be used in the preparation of other dishes. The taste of 'salted duck egg' is of course salty. 'Salted duck egg' is a type of food that has been preserved by salting. The best part of 'salted duck egg' is not the egg white but rather the yolk. The yolks of 'salted duck eggs' are red in colour and the taste is very strong and delicious.

茶叶蛋是一种小吃,咸鸭蛋可以用来做菜。咸鸭蛋的味道,当然,是咸的。咸鸭蛋是一种腌制的食物。咸鸭蛋最好吃的不是蛋白,是它的蛋黄。咸鸭蛋的蛋黄是红色的,味道很浓,很好吃。

 

In the past, for breakfast I used to like eating congee while scooping out bits of the duck egg to eat. The yolks of 'salted duck eggs' also appear in zongzi and in moon cakes.

我以前喜欢在早餐的时候,一边喝粥,一边用筷子挖咸鸭蛋吃。咸鸭蛋的蛋黄也出现在粽子或者月饼里面。

 

As for the most peculiar egg dish, one cannot leave out preserved eggs. Preserved eggs are also called 'pidan'. 'Pidan' in English translation are 'thousand year old eggs' because 'pidan' look like they've been put aside for a very long time.

要说最奇特的蛋,就不得不说松花蛋了。松花蛋也叫皮蛋。松花蛋在英文里面的意思是"千年蛋",因为松花蛋看上去好像放了很久很久。

 

The colour of 'pidan' is indeed not pleasant. The outside resembles a brown jelly and the inside is a thick creamy liquid of a dark blue-green colour. The outside of 'pidan' have markings that resemble pine needles. These markings are produced naturally as part of the cookng process. The more markings on the egg, the better the egg.

松花蛋的颜色确实不好看,外面像褐色的果冻,里面是深绿色的浓稠液体。松花蛋的表面有一些像松树针叶一样的花纹,这是它在制作的时候自然产生的。松花纹越多,就说明这个蛋越好。

 

For foreigners who may never have seen 'pidan', I can completely understand it if you feel sick at the sight of these eggs. But for Chinese, 'pidan' are very much a delicacy. 'Pidan' can be eaten as they are, they can be mixed with tofu to make the famous Shanghainese dish 'pidan tofu' or they can also be added to congee to make the famous Cantonese dish 'pidan pork congee'.

对于从来没有见过松花蛋的外国朋友,你们如果觉得恶心,我完全可以理解你们的感受。不过对于中国人来说,松花蛋可是一种美味。松花蛋可以直接吃,可以和豆腐一起拌成著名的上海菜皮蛋豆腐,也可以放在粥里面做成广东名菜皮蛋瘦肉粥。

2016-06-22

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