While I was in Beijing, we stopped at (literally translated) the Front Door (in Chinese it’s 前门). It’s located right behind the Tian’an Men Square, behind the building where you can see Mao Zidong’s body. Anyways, we were looking for a place to eat lunch. Suddenly, my mom stops. “Look, it’s Gou Bu Li Bao Zi (狗不理包子),” she says to me, pointing to the shop.
So what exactly are Bao Zi? Bao Zi is one of China’s most popular kinds of food. It’s a steamed bun filled with meat, vegetables…all different kinds of fillings, sometimes even red bean curd. Doing a little more research, I found out that the tradition of Bao Zi goes back about 1800 years. The story is, apparently, that when his army caught a plague, a strategist made the first Bao Zi out of flour and meat to offer as a sacrifice.
Okay. Let’s move back to one of China’s most famous type of Bao Zi: Gou Bu Li Bao Zi. This famous type of Bao Zi was originated in Tianjin, and it is supposed to have a unique and delicious taste because of the way it is made. Hearing this much, I decided to have lunch here.
We ordered some Bao Zi stuffed with pork and two soups for lunch. The wait was a little long, and by the time they brought over the Bao Zi my stomach was growling. I picked up the Bao Zi and took a bite.
Let’s just say I was disappointed. I expected something so marvelous that it could only come from heaven. The Gou Bu Li Bao Zi tasted like…the normal Bao Zi that I had a few days ago in a cheap restaurant near my hotel. The filling was watery and a bit more salty than I was used to, but otherwise, it still tasted the same.
I guess the only thing different was that they were so pretty. To the left, you can see how intricate the top of the Bao Zi are. the folds are neat and look like flowers. Ha, when I make Bao Zi with my mom, I can never make them look like that.
And something else that I can take away? The right to say, “I ate one of China’s most famous Bao Zi.”