Nowadays, local specialties have become an important reference for travelers. A few days ago, a 2019 Mainland China City Foodie Index ignited Jinhua citizens’ interest. The “foodie index” refers to the convenience and accessibility of the cuisine industry in a city. In this list Jinhua ranks fifth, following cities with famous local specialties: Chongqing, Shenzhen, Bijie, and Chengdu.
Jinzi, from Yiwu, said that since last year one of his favorite pastimes on the weekend is to visit Jinhua and try local foods with a group of friends. “Crayfish is my favorite. Many times, we found some small restaurants that have been operating for 10 or 20 years in the side streets and back alleys. The food is so delicious that we become immediate fans once we taste it,” said Jinzi.
The foodie index not only excited the Jinhua netizens. He Youjian, who came to Jinhua from Fujian Province during the May Day holiday, also shared news of the list on social media. “Jinhua has a variety of specialties. I’ve been to many cities, and I have to say Jinhua is one of the best in terms of food. Crayfish and Tangxi Tangyuan (a Chinese dessert made from glutinous rice flour mixed with stuffing) are the most impressive,” said He. “I’m really enjoying my stay in Jinhua because of the delicious food here: for breakfast I have a bowl of Tangxi Tangyuan; for lunch I have a spread of village cuisine; for dinner, a saucepan of pork bones soup; and for midnight snack I have crayfish.”
Liu Genhua, director of the Tourism Management Department at Jinhua Polytechnic, says that Jinhua has long been of strategic cuisine importance between the middle and south of Zhejiang Province, as different flavors of foods have converged here since ancient times. Therefore, the flavors of Jinhua cuisine are full of variety: even though it’s a small town, Jinhua has a series of specialties with sour, sweet, spicy, and salty tastes.
In addition, it is very easy to find popular restaurants and small restaurants with long histories in Jinhua. For example, the newly web-celebrated restaurants are all located near each other, such as the Old City of Jinhua, Zhongcun Road, Yongkang Road, and Sanlukou Village, which makes them more convenient for foodies to visit.
Despite the fact that the foodie index of Jinhua has surpassed some cities famous for local cuisine, Liu still thinks that it is far from enough for the city. In his opinion, creating prestigious cuisine brands is the only way for Jinhua cuisine to become truly famous throughout the world, also along the Go Out policy.
Even though Jinhua cuisine covers a wide swath of flavors, this characteristic prevents Jinhua cuisine from achieving fame. The specialties of Jinhua are scattered, without one or two influential brands as main attractions. For example, Jinhua ham has been widely acclaimed in China, but it remains just generally ham itself instead of being focused on a brand of ham or a specific dish made of ham.
Liu Genhua proposes that if Jinhua wants to promote its cuisine brand, it has to draw support from the Internet, connect food with local culture, and tell a compelling brand story. Furthermore, the local authorities should work together to create a cuisine brand and refine the core elements of the cuisine. (By Wang Lei, translated by Li Ziyi, edited by Kendra Fiddler)