Guangming Daily reporter Dong Shanfeng Liu Qian Wang Xiaofei
A “low-key” delicacy
Tianjin was once “the first city in the north”. The saying “Shanghai Beach lies in the south and Tianjin Wei lies in the north” records its glory. But Tianjin people’s breakfast is very civilian, and has nothing to do with the “tallness” of big cities that people imagine.
For example, three traditional Tianjin snacks, tea soup, noodle tea, and oil tea noodles, all have the word “tea” in their names. The main ingredients are simple noodles and water. However, due to different ingredients and cooking methods, three types of snacks are finally formed. Snacks with very different tastes.
Another example is to spread mung bean noodles into pancakes, add eggs, fried dough sticks (fried dough sticks) or fried dough sticks (thin and crispy), and add sauce, chopped green onion, chili sauce, etc. as condiments to roll out a set of pancakes. How much “ingredients” are put into the pancakes depends entirely on personal taste. You can put a single pancake, a double pancake, a grate, or nothing but a pancake skin. You can also bring your own “ingredients”. Many Tianjin people will bring two eggs when they buy pancakes. They not only enjoy the delicious food, meet their nutritional needs, but also save money in the long run.
For another example, the spread pancakes are dried, cut into shreds, and topped with marinade and other condiments, resulting in a delicious breakfast that is both food, soup, and vegetable – crispy rice. Wrap various side dishes and sauces in the oil skin, roll it up, seal it with batter, and then fry it in the oil pan. Each roll is made with crispy outside and tender inside.
Tianjin people are very particular – no matter where they live, they are very particular about the taste of breakfast; Tianjin people are not very particular – as long as the taste is authentic, they are not particular about the environment where they eat, be it next to a cart, in a small pavilion, or at a bus stop. You can see Tianjin people “eating” everywhere. If there is a place to sit, we sit and eat. People we know and don’t know share a table and eat and chat at the same time. If there is no place to sit, we eat standing or while walking. There is a sense of informality and boldness everywhere.
Noodle tea and crispy rice dishes that make your taste buds swell.
The highlight is not just in the “Northwest Corner”
If you want to eat authentic Tianjin breakfast and feel the humor, calmness and leisure of Tianjin people, you don’t have to go to the northwest corner. You only need to choose a stall downstairs in the community where many people bring their own eggs and line up to buy pancakes, or Choose a breakfast shop where locals have long queues.
Let’s talk about pancakes first. The famous Halal Second Sister-in-Law Pancake is not in the northwest corner, but at the intersection of Weijin Road and Anshan Road. Next to the window of this old store with a history of more than 100 years, a sign “Heping District Intangible Cultural Heritage” hangs. Nanlou Pancake is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Longchang Road and Weidi Road in Hexi District. It sells pancakes from night to morning. It currently has many branches in Tianjin and also opened a store in Beijing. Jinmen Thirteen Zhangs is a specialty pancake created by young people in Tianjin. There are traditional pancakes that retain the authentic old taste, and creative pancakes that use different crusts and fillings to satisfy the various tastes of young people. taste.
Now let’s talk about the circle. Rolled rings are one of Tianjin’s specialty breakfasts. The fillings inside are mainly bean sprouts, fermented bean curd, and dried tofu. The outside is wrapped in tofu skin and fried for a while until it becomes golden and crispy. Whether eaten alone or paired with flatbread or pancakes, it tastes great. The Ding Kee rolls and Hai Kee old-flavor rolls in the northwest corner are relatively famous, especially the Haiji old-flavor rolls. Not only do they taste delicious, but they don’t leave your mouth greasy after eating. This is why many people like it. Fengji Rolling Circle is located on Binguin West Road, Hexi District. The store is small and mainly sells at the window. It has been recommended many times on various platforms and receives hundreds of customers every day. Zhangji Su Juan Circle is a time-honored brand with decades of history. It is a unique breakfast shop in Yangcun, Wuqing, 30 kilometers away from the northwest corner. This shop’s vegetarian rolls are different from other rolls that use dough. Instead, they are wrapped in fried bean curd and sesame paste and other fillings. The ingredients and taste are unique and unforgettable.
Next, let’s talk about wontons. Wonton is called wonton or hand in some places. In Tianjin, almost all breakfast shops sell wontons. Fat Sister Wonton is located at the intersection of Anshan Road and Henan Road. Its main breakfast is shrimp wontons, as well as sesame cakes, tea eggs, steamed buns, hand-rolled noodles, meat buns, etc. Shuying Big Stuffed Wonton is located in District 6, Wanxin Village, Hedong District. It is not only loved by nearby residents, but also attracts many foreign tourists. Ningji Big Stuffed Wonton has stores in Nankai District and Hebei District. It is a long-established restaurant that is very popular among diners. The meatballs in the store are delicate and firm, and the soup is delicious. Everyone praises it. Sha Er Wonton is located in Nankai District. The wontons are large and filled with fillings. There are also traditional small wontons that can be eaten as soup.
In addition, crispy rice dumplings, steamed buns, and mutton soup are also common delicacies on the breakfast table of Tianjin people.
The delicacy of Guoba Cuisine has recently been added to the cultural flavor with the performance of the original Jinwei’er drama “Gaba Cuisine of Love” (in Tianjin dialect, Guoba Cuisine is called Gaba Cuisine). Speaking of Tianjin crispy rice dishes, Dafulai must be mentioned. It was opened during the Guangxu period of the Qing Dynasty. With its high-quality raw materials and multi-flavor blend, it is unique in the hearts of Tianjin people with picky tastes. Its crispy rice beans are rich in fragrance, soft and waxy yet chewy, and the braised pork is not chewy after being mixed for a long time. Eryong Guoba dish is a favorite among diners in Wuqing District. It has a mellow and mild taste. It contains fried diced tofu and the bean dough is chewy. One bowl can last a whole day, which shows its high calories.
Baozi is the star of breakfast for Tianjin people. In addition to the famous Goubuli, there are also many steamed bun shops that are widely loved by Tianjin people, hidden in every corner of the city. Gulou Ergu Baozi has dozens of shops all over Tianjin. Its signature steamed buns are beef buns and pork and green onion buns. Jianjun Baozi is located on Qujiang Road, Hexi District. It makes traditional steamed buns with water fillings. Xiaozhan Dashang Baozi is located in Xiaozhan Town, Jinnan District. Its production techniques have been included in the seventh batch of intangible cultural heritage list of Jinnan District. What customers come here to eat is not only the taste, but also the culture. De Caili Pan-fried Buns and Wontons is located on Pingshan Road, Machang Street. It mainly sells Tianjin’s traditional old-flavor pan-fried buns with water fillings. Pure sesame seeds are used to prepare the stuffing. The buns are juicy and delicious, and are very popular among diners. Laosheng Xiangbaozi shops have spread all over Tianjin, and there are also branches in Beijing, allowing the people of the capital to share the good taste of Tianjin people.
Mutton soup is available in many places across the country, with different ingredients and methods, and different names, such as “mutton soup”, “mutton soup” and “mutton soup”. Tianjin people speak fluently and directly call it “mutton soup”. Tianjin’s old-flavored mutton soup is thick and white, and the haggis is cooked just right and delicious. After a bowl, you will feel comfortable all over. Halal Sheep Soup Hong opened in 1882, the eighth year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty. It was first located at No. 281 Qinghe Street, Laonan City, Tianjin. It is now located next to the Second Nankai Middle School on Rongye Street (at the intersection of Sheng’an Street). In 2016, it was selected as one of the Tianjin List of district-level intangible cultural heritage items in Heping District. The Four Generations Mutton Soup Main Store is located at the intersection of Xianyang North Road and Guangrong Road in Hongqiao District. It has stores in Hexi, Nankai, and Binhai New Area. It is characterized by its soup base with sesame paste and fermented bean curd, which is very delicious. Liu Qingmei Mutton Soup is located in Mashenqiao Town, Jizhou District. The ingredients are fresh, the ingredients are sufficient, the soup is clear and thick, and the taste is delicious. It is loved by men, women and children nearby. Aeon Wang Mutton Soup has many stores across the city and was rated as the 2023 Internet celebrity check-in food of the Chinese Food Collection-“Relish”. Zhoufu Jizhou Mutton Soup Restaurant is located on Yingkou Road. A bowl of mutton soup, a corner of freshly baked hot flatbread, a piece of fermented bean curd on a small plate, and some soybean paste, shredded green onions, and shredded chili peppers will whet the appetite of diners. He was hung up.
If you ask Tianjin citizens where the best breakfast is, the answer you will often get is “the one downstairs from my house.” Each breakfast store focuses on being close to home, so there are “die fans” there. The diners are familiar with the boss, and the boss is familiar with the diners. Hidden in the familiar taste from snacks is the human touch of the city.
In the northwest corner of Huanqingxi Hutong, merchants are making old-flavored catechu soup.
Food contains unique customs and customs
Good taste and high calories are the two major characteristics of Tianjin breakfast. Behind them lies Tianjin’s unique customs, historical microcosm, and humanistic sentiments.
“Nine rivers descend to Tianjin Wei, and there are three floating bridges and two passes.” Tianjin is the gathering place of many water systems. Tianjin has been inhabited by humans since the Shang and Zhou dynasties, but it was formed relatively late as a city. The opening of the Grand Canal made Tianjin, located in the north of the canal and convenient for river and sea transportation, increasingly important. The Grand Canal and the Haihe River meet at the mouth of the Sancha River in the urban area, and Tianjin is known as the “Sanhui Haikou” in history. After the middle of the Tang Dynasty, Tianjin became a land and water terminal for the transportation of grain and silk from the south to the north. With the dock, coolies carrying bags, trackers pulling boats, etc. came into being. High-calorie, high-fat food can make the manual workers on the dock full and strong.
Old taste and good taste have created breakfast tribes of all sizes in Tianjin. There are more than 200 merchants in the northwest corner alone, including 4 “Tinmen time-honored brands”, 2 municipal-level intangible cultural heritage projects, and 8 district-level intangible cultural heritage projects. legacy items.
Nowadays, the northwest corner is not only loved by the residents of the old city, but also has become a popular check-in place for diners from out of town. The massive increase in tourists has also brought “happiness troubles.” In order to better meet the needs of residents, tourists, and merchants, relevant departments in Tianjin continue to improve management and service guarantees. Plan routes well, connect points to form lines, and develop food maps and night market maps; use information technology to monitor the flow of people at key points in real time to ensure that they are crowded but not crowded, and that gatherings are not chaotic; strictly control food safety and ensure the environment Neat, guide vehicles to park in an orderly manner, maintain market price stability, make residents and tourists feel at ease, comfortable, and create a good atmosphere for hosts and guests to share… Behind the delicious breakfast and wonderful enjoyment are Tianjin people in different positions.
While we were walking through various breakfast shops in Tianjin and among the people queuing up for breakfast, Mr. Ye Jiaying, a cultural icon who also lives in Tianjin, celebrated her 100th birthday. Regarding Tianjin, Ye Jiaying once said: “I like the people in Tianjin and the food in Tianjin. I think it is a very good choice for me to stay in Tianjin.” Connect this sentence with the delicious breakfast in Tianjin, In connection with the people of Tianjin who are now regaining their self-confidence and creativity, we can’t help but think of the words of Tianjin writer Feng Jicai: “If a person can afford it, he must also be poor. Being rich does not waste money, and being poor makes money.” You can be rich or poor, and you can claim to be a hero in the world.”
The pictures in this article are all provided by the Integrated Media Center of Hongqiao District, Tianjin
“Guangming Daily” (page 13, November 1, 2023)