The Publicity Department of Weifang Municipality, Shandong Province, recently outlined the significant investments in the cultural and tourism sector, focusing especially on the night economy, in 2020.
This has involved acceleration of construction of 28 major night economy projects – ten are planned for this year, eight are scheduled for completion next year the remainder will be undertaken in 2022-23.
One of the big attractions of Weifang night life is the array of unique delicacies, something not to be missed. “Tasty and colorful dishes can be found in every single restaurant” is a line from a poem, vividly portraying these delicacies, written by Zheng Banqiao during the Qing Dynasty.
The meat pie is one of the Weifang signature foods. With a crispy crust and tender meat stuffing, it tastes good and is not greasy. The flat round meat pies are made by wrapping the meat stuffing, which has been soaked in Sichuan Pepper water, inside soft dough and pinching the edges together to seal. They are then oven-baked. This method of cooking – in an oven fired by charcoal – bleeds the grease out of the pies. The aroma of the meat is irresistible.
The so-called Weifang Chaotian Pot is another famed traditional dish; it originated from the folk morning market during the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty. At that time, the farmers who went to the market could rarely have hot meals, so some enterprising people set up big iron pots to cook meals for the passers-by. They were called Chaotian Pots as the pots were not covered. This dish is made by piling some cooked meat and vegetables, together with a little salt, onto pancakes and then rolling them up.
Another dish worth mentioning is Weifang Hele, the main ingredient of which is a particular type of cylindrical noodles. This noodle dish is made by pressing the dough, made from flour and starch, into chicken and duck soup with a Hele noodle press. They are boiled and then served with the meat and soup. This dish is particularly tasty, and the texture of the chewy noodles complements the delicious meat and thick soup.
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