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Foods and Culinary Utensils of the Ancients

A very popular cake consists partially of mincemeat


The

attendants then bring in towels and bowls of hot water. They immerse the towels in the water, and after wringing them out present them to the guests in the order of their importance.

On special occasions the water is scented with otto of roses.

One habit of the attendants which is especially surprising to the novice is that as their labors during the meal increase the temperature of their bodies, the waiters divest themselves of the greater part of their clothing!

One restaurant in Canton which caters for the cheaper class of trade, feeds on an average five thousand persons daily. Each patron is served with portions of regular size, and allowance is made for any pieces which he may not eat.

The tea saloons are divided into two large rooms furnished with stools and tables. Cakes, preserved fruits and tea are served. The cups are usually covered so as to prevent the aroma of the tea from evaporating.

"Dog and cat" restaurants consist of one large public apartment, with the entrance to the dining room through the kitchen.

Soup stalls are found on the street corners of the cities. They sell luncheons of fish, pork, soups, vegetables, fried locusts, etc., from one to two cents.

The oven, or, to speak more accurately, the baking apparatus, of

the average establishment is somewhat singular. It consists of a furnace resembling a copper in shape, built in the center of an outhouse. The hollow part (which is shallow) is filled with charcoal. A lid, which fits the aperture, is so suspended by chains from the beams above as to be capable of elevation or depression. Upon this lid, pastry and cakes are placed and kept directly above or at any distance from the fire, according to the heat desired.

The bakers often manufacture their bread without the use of shortening of any description.

A very popular cake consists partially of mincemeat. The baker before commencing to make it, places a pile of dough on one side and opposite it a heap of mincemeat--a mixture of pork, sugar, spices, etc. He then pulls off a piece of dough, rolls it into a ball, flattens it, covers it with the meat, rolls it into a ball again, shapes it into a ring and flattens it by a stroke of the hand into a cake of definite size and thickness.

Among other dainty dishes of Chinaland are the "t'ien ya tzu," a species of delicately flavored fat duck; "feng chi," salted chicken; a dish of amber gelatine; a salad of bamboo shoots; "huo t'ui," a dainty ham of the appearance of veal; "yu ch'ih," shark's fins, and "hai li tzu," devilled oysters with mushrooms.

Other items are salted earthworms, pigeon's eggs, pounded shrimps; bird's nest soup, a gelatinous article; beches de mer (sea slugs), water beetles and silkworms, the last named fried in oil after they have made their cocoons.

A much admired soup, prepared for an imperial feast, was of blood and mare's milk.

Oysters are very cheap in winter, selling at from five to six cents per pound.

The following receipts may be of interest as literal translations from a genuine Chinese cook book:

_Steamed Shark's Fins._

Take the sun-dried shark's fins, place in a cooking pan, add wood ashes and boil in several waters. Then take out and scrape the roughness from the fins. If not clean, boil again and scrape again until clean. Then change the water and boil again. Take out and remove the flesh, keeping only the fins themselves. Boil again and put in spring water. The frequent changing of the water is necessary to take out the lime taste. Put the fins into the soup and stew until quite tender. Dish in a bowl, placing crab meat below and a little ham on top.


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