Dishes are served for judges to grade at a competition in Luojing Town yesterday to pick the town's 10 "most authentic" cuisines.(Jiang Xiaowei)
Shanghai's major agricultural town yesterday picked its 10 "most authentic local country flavor cuisines" that have long histories and involve many local cultures.
Luojing Town, in northern Baoshan District where many Shanghainese dishes originated, listed yan du xian, a typical Shanghai soup with bamboo shoots and salted and fresh pork among the top 10 dishes. Others included tiger-skin pork and quick fried river shrimp with soy sauce.
The township government is collecting classic cooking procedures and will make standards on both cooking and raw materials to ensure traditional flavors won't change and to protect the dishes from extinction, said Gu Jun, the Party secretary of Luojing.
Other listed delicacies include braised long snout catfish, wild eel cooked with river snails, fish-meatball soup, hairy crab soup, steamed countryside ham and vegetables, taro braised with soy sauce, and a soup of fried chicken meat and vegetables.
Soup is served to guests at weddings and funerals according to Luojing tradition.
"The listed dishes have long history among local inhabitants. They are cooked with local fresh materials in traditional ways," said Zang Shutong, director with the cuisine association of Baoshan District.
Zang along with nine senior chefs and local residents served as judges to taste and vote for the top 10 dishes from a total of 20 traditional dishes.
Typically sweet Shanghai cuisine uses a lot of soy sauce and various kinds of sugar. Among the listed dishes, half of them are cooked with soy sauce and sugar, Zang said.
However, native inhabitants in Luojing town have also preserved much of the authentic local cuisine, Zang added.
The cooking standard and rules on the 10 traditional dishes will be issued to major restaurants and eateries across the town to retain the most authentic Shanghainese flavor and avoid disappointing tourists, Gu said.
The town aims to attract visitors to enjoy its farmland scenery, witness how much of the city's agricultural produce is produced as well as taste the authentic local dishes, said Yang Xin, director of the township government.