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Yunnan’s floral obsession: cuisine and money

Updated:2021-04-07 17:49:19   

Possessing Asia’s largest fresh cut flower trading market, Yunnan province is known as the “floral kingdom”. There has long been a tradition of turning flowers into delicacy in Yunnan.

In Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture grows the special tree of Mayodendron, or blazing flower, which is so named because of its flame-like blossoms on tree trunks.

The flower can be cooked into one of the most popular local cuisines. After being washed and blanched, the crimson flowers will be stir-fried over high heat to give off an enticing and unique aroma.

Tasting flowers is not only a way for Yunnan residents to enjoy spring, but also an emotional attachment to the memories of their hometown.

"My hometown, the Hailiang village in Dali Prefecture, has the tradition of eating flowers on Bombax ceiba, or the red cotton tree,” said Wu Songjiang, a migrant worker.

“Whenever I pass by a flowering cotton tree, I’d always pick up some flowers and make them into a finger-licking dish. Its unique floral fragrance can remind me of the sweet days in my childhood."

To better preserve the flowers, people in Yuanjiang county, central Yunnan’s Yuxi city, like to make edible flowers and wild vegetables into pickled foods, the most popular being aloe vera flower pickles.

Yunnan boasts scrumptious cuisines made from flowers, as well as a sizable market for flowers and their derivative products. These adorable flowers give a strong pull to Yunnan's tourism and manufacturing industries, providing locals with job opportunities and boosting economic performances of rural areas.

Source: Xinhua Net; Trans-editing by Zhang Shuyu

Keywords:   Yunnan floral cuisine dishes