The countryside in Guilin is known for being one of the most picturesque places in China. Think lush, green farmland and foggy, mystical mountains in the backdrop. We were lucky enough to have lunch at our tour guide Jesse’s home during our visit to Guilin. All the food came directly from her farmland.
Some key differences between the food there and the food in metropolitan cities like Shanghai. 1) Everything was very qing dan (清淡), or light. No heavy sauces and not a lot of oil. 2) The meal had more vegetables than meat (a welcoming addition to our usual diet back in Shanghai, where we were constantly being fed heavy portions of pork and fish).
This was definitely one of the most memorable meals in China. It was home-cooked by Jesse’s parents, a humble and adorable couple native to Guilin. We ate at the upstairs room of her childhood home, which had been converted into a dining room for her tour groups.