กก
Chinese Way > Ethnic Culture > Food
Advanced Search
E-Mail This Article Print Friendly Format
Bai

The Bai ethnic minority, mainly living in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province in southern China, is mainly engaged in agriculture and plants paddy rice, wheat, maize, buckwheat, broad bean and yams. Snow pear, citrus and tea are their local specialties. The Bai people residing along lakes or rivers live on rice and wheat, while those in mountainous areas live on maize, buckwheat and potatoes. The Bai people make rice food, Baogu (maize) food and various rice and wheaten food, and are good at cooking pot-stewed beef, mutton, pork and pickles. The Erhai Lake is rich in fishes, among which Gongyu (bow fish) is the most famous one. The Bai people are fond of casserole and pickles, etc., and sour, cool and hot dishes.

The Bai people attach importance to the celebration of festivals, and have one or more kinds of special food for nearly every festival. For example, Dingding candy, pickled rice tea, and Jiangzhai rice for the Spring Festival (Chinese Lunar New Year); steamed pastry and Liangfen jelly for the March Day; cold assorted food dressed with sauce, and Zhaiyanxiang (fried crisp meat) for the Qingming Day (traditional Chinese memorial and tomb-sweeping day); glutinous rice dumplings and realgar wine for the Dragon Boat Festival on lunar May 5; fresh bean, tender melon, and stale grain mixed with new rice for the Changxin Festival (new food festival); sweet food and candies for the Torch Day; toadstool, and Jianyu Baorou (Jian fish with meat in it) for the Zhongwu Festival; blank cake and Zuibing (drunk cake) for the Mid-Autumn Festival on lunar August 15; fat mutton for the Chongyang Festival lunar September 9; fried buckwheat kernel and mutton soup for the Midwinter Day (a traditional Chinese solar term).

The Bai people are fond of wine. Jiaojiu and Ganjiu (both are wines) are traditional vintage wine. There is also a kind of sweet wine specially made of glutinous rice for women. It is said to be very nourishing and capable of promoting lactation.

Drinking tea is another habit of the Bais, who take morning tea and noon tea seriously. Morning tea is called early tea or refreshing tea. Adults drink tea as soon as they get up. Noon tea is also called break tea or thirst-quenching tea, which is added with fried rice and milk. Even children will have a cup of noon tea.

The Bais have their dietetic taboos. On the first day of the lunar New Year, in particular, iron knives must not be used; women must cook silently; people are forbidden to blow out lamp; and must carry new water from the well. During the funeral period, food must be simply boiled or fried without red ingredients or red color. When dining, the seniors take the honorable seats, while the juniors sit on both sides in proper order, and add rice or tea for the seniors.

All rights reserved. Reproduction of text for non-commercial purposes is permitted provided that both the source and author are acknowledged and a notifying email is sent to us.