In the cold winter of Nanjing, hot food can always arouse our inner energy for us to expel the coldness and embrace the warmth. From outer warmth to inner warmth, the happiness of winter lingers around us.
Hot soup is bound to be the most soothing winter food. In Nanjing, it is duck blood soup with vermicelli.
(Photo: Duck blood soup with vermicelli; Source: Nanjing Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism)
Duck blood soup with vermicelli ought to be the most popular Nanjing's way to eat duck in China. It is most enjoyable to have some duck blood soup with vermicelli in the cold winter. The soup is made of vermicelli, duck blood, duck liver and duck intestines with old duck soup. The soup, which must be of high quality, should be cooked with duck skeleton until its color turns milky white. The vermicelli should be made of sweet potato. It takes a lot of time and effort to clean up duck liver, duck intestines, duck heart and duck gizzards, among which duck intestines are the most troublesome. The technical requirements are higher when boiling the soup. If it is under-boiled, the duck will be halfraw; if it is over-boiled, the duck will be too chewy. Spices should also be prepared, including diced pickled mustard, scallion, minced garlic, dried shrimps, coriander, vinegar and chicken essence. The most important one is spicy oil, which is best made of duck fat.
In a small bowl of soup, there are tender duck blood, chewy duck intestines, slippery vermicelli, excellent oily bean curds, and the soup base boiled with duck skeleton. It renders the life in Nanjing.
Chicken soup is not a unique dish in Nanjing, but in winter, it is indeed an indispensable food in every city. Nanjing people like to eat chicken, duck and fish on the Beginning of Winter or the Great Cold, especially making a pot of delicious and nutritious chicken soup, with some yam, medlar and American ginseng. A bowl of hot chicken soup with a little fat in it warms your body and mind at the same time.
(Photo: Chicken soup; Source: Nanjing Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism)
Of course, in Nanjing, one of the bases of Jiangsu sweets, the characteristic dessert - rice glue balls with osmanthus and red bean is one of the must-taste delicacies in winter. From Jinling Hotel to snack stands in the streets, this delicacy can be found everywhere. The heat rising slowly from it is filled with osmanthus fragrance. Taking a bite of it, you taste the thick and smooth lotus root powder, the sweet and soft red bean paste, and the finely twisted osmanthus at the tip of the tongue that refreshes you. The cold winter of Nanjing is just a foil to its warmth and sweetness.
(Photo: Rice glue balls with osmanthus and red bean; Source: Nanjing Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism)
Last but not least, in the most inconspicuous corners, baked sweet potatoes give off a sweet and waxy smell.
Baked sweet potato ought to be a must-eat street snack in Nanjing's winter. You can always see an old man pushing a cart to sell baked sweet potatoes in the alley. Peel off the charred skin and take a bite of the soft waxy sweet potato, and then a warmth spreads all over your body, making you unable to stop eating.
Come seek the winter delicacies of Nanjing and sense their warmth and tenderness.