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Taste enthusiast? Life explorer? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s travel together through the culture of flavors and conviviality. Discover curiosities, learn about the most peculiar recipes and ingredients as well as the quintessentials. Be inspired by experiences of the finest taste experts.

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Taste Guides

 

A journey through local flavors

  • Haipai: The Shanghai Spirit

    Shanghai is a cultural jumble. A hundred years ago there was the ‘Chinese city’, surrounded by walls and filled with narrow alleys. Outside the walls, tens of thousands of British, American, French, German and other colonialists had carved out a series of concessions and built a replica Europe. But the borders were porous and the cultures all mixed to create a style of art, food, life and thinking known as “Haipai”: the “Shanghai school”. Originally a term of derision used by the stuffy traditionalists in Beijing, Shanghai embraced it as a description of its international spirit, informed by both Chinese and modern western culture, but beholden to neither. The fingerprints of this east-west spirit, first named in the 1920s, can still be found in its residential lanes (a blend of European row houses and Chinese courtyard homes), the Shanghainese dialect and especially in its food. Grandmothers still whip up the Shanghainese version of borscht at home, brought over by the Russians, though the lack of beets makes it more like a tomato soup, or cook a pork schnitzel (from the Austrians) for dinner. In the last few years, this spirit has started to re-emerge in modern restaurants, from Chinese chefs and the city’s international residents alike.
  • NEW CHINA: THE MODERN MEAL

    Beijing is packed with centuries of history and culinary tradition – and no trip should leave out the Great Wall or Peking duck – but the last decade has also planted the Chinese capital firmly in the modern day. It’s no news that the country has developed on all fronts at a breakneck speed. The era of Imperial Beijing might not have been so long ago, but several thousand years of history and quaint alleyways are now juxtaposed with world-class cocktails, luxury SUVs and – by some accounts – the most billionaires in the world. It may be true that life can now be lived with the simple swipe of a finger or QR code scan – call a car, order a delivery, book a house cleaner, pay for dumplings – but New China isn’t just about convenience through technology, the nouveau riche or increasing luxury. Modernity means change, change means energy, and the air in Beijing is thick with an intoxicating dynamism – it’s not just the pollution. The city is percolating with a thriving community of young artists and musicians who are connected, receptive and contributing to the international scene. In the culinary world, interest is turning not just towards what is cheap, delicious and filling – or even how many grams of caviar you can afford – but towards what’s local and sustainable. Young chefs from abroad are injecting fresh enthusiasm into the scene and a new generation of bartenders are coming into their own, creating flavour profiles that are truly evocative of China.

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Taste Inspirations

More Secrets of taste

 

A stroll through the history of the most beloved ingredients

Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher born in 551 BC, was something of a foodie. In his famous Analects, a collection of his sayings and ideas, he outlined some rules to eating that wouldn’t look out of place today.

 

Eat only at mealtimes, he advocated. Know the source of your food, eat meat in moderation, eat only food that is in season and do not drink to excess. All very modern.

 

Each autumn, the restaurants of Shanghai are overrun by large hairy crustaceans. Market stalls pop-up all over the place packed with the creatures, their legs and pincers bound up in string, and everyone goes crab crazy.

 

In 1857, or so the story goes, a young butcher by the name of Sepp Moser was making sausages at the Zum ewigen Licht restaurant in the Bavarian city of Munich. In the dining room was a table of hungry customers who were becoming gradually more impatient for their food. Then disaster struck: Moser ran out of the thick sausage skin he needed to complete the order.

 

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are,” wrote the legendary French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in the early nineteenth century. And the leap between what you eat and national character is indeed easily made – many countries or regions are closely associated with a particular food: usually by way of insult.

Taste Origins

Tales from Taste Lovers

Once upon a Bite

Bruce Lee & Liver Congee

“When you are a martial artist”, the great kung fu master and movie star Bruce Lee once said, “you only eat what you require and don’t to

Bruce Lee & Liver Congee

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