Monday, January 26, 2015

Street Food Around the World

One of the fun things about writing this website and book is opening up my email account to find messages from strangers regarding street food. Not long ago I received one such email from Zara at Backpack ME asking if I wanted to contribute to a post documenting street foods around the world. I would, naturally, be representing China in that post. It sounded like fun, so I got on board. It was tough to choose a single street food to represent a country as massive and gastronomically diverse as China. There are so many great foods, some of which are currently available throughout the country and some that are really limited in geography. In the end, I settled on 煎饼 (jiān bĭng), as it seemed there was a solid argument to be made for it being the quintessential Chinese street food.

Despite it's Beijing/Tianjin origins, this greasy thrill for the taste buds is widely available in China. It also has all the hallmarks of a great Chinese street food (quick, cheap, greasy, and filling). All considered, it seemed as good a representative dish as any. So, I wrote up a paragraph or two and sent it off to Zara. Earlier today I got another email saying that the post had officially gone up. Besides my piece about China, there are entries from Mexico, Vietnam, Burma, Iran, Madagascar, Grenada, Tanzania, Slovakia, Romania, Egypt, Guatemala, and two dozen other countries. Wow! It's a terrific and remarkably mouth-watering list. What a wonderful reminder about the diversity of the human experience. I want to try all of them in one weeks-long street food binge.

Anyway, I encourage you to hop on over and check out the Street Food Around the World post. While you're there, poke around some of the other articles Zara and Ashray have posted--there's lots of good travel writing to discover. Thanks for the invitation, Backpack ME!


Aritê gunê Akasa said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I ate this multiple times in Beijing in 2010 and couldn't remember the name of it. Then I couldn't find it when I went back and stayed in a different part of the city last year. It should be easier to find it with the name next time.

Frank Kasell said...

Glad I could help, Lady Aritê gunê Akasa!

Unknown said...

I read the the whole article and it literally makes me want to CRY. I've never seen Jian Bing before but dat egg fried INTO the pancake thing MMMM GOD WHY I feel like I'm gonna have a heart attack looking at how greasy and messy it is but you know the rule of thumb : the greasy messy foods always taste the best.

O'Rourke said...

the greasy foods taste the best

Ami said...

Street food definitely has to be quick and filling.

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