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Shaoxing Three Blacks


Black Dried Vegetable, Black Felt Hat, and Black Awning Boat

Black Dried VegetableShaoxing three blacks refer to three objects of Shaoxing local color. They are Black Dried Vegetable, Black Felt Hat, and Black Awning Boat

Black Dried Vegetable, namely Mei Green Vegetable, is a special cuisine in Shaoxing. The main material is Chinese mustard greens, Chinese cabbage, or Chinese greens. The local people prefer Chinese mustard green, for Black Dried Vegetable made from Chinese mustard greens tastes best. To make the cuisine, they will first salt or pickle the vegetable for a few days. Then expose the salted vegetable to the sun to make it dry. Finally, cut it into shreds and store them in a jar. Black Dried Vegetable can be stored for many years without going bad. And it is said that the longer it is stored, the better it tastes. It is usually cooked with pork, which is a famous dish in Shaoxing. It is called Dried Vegetable Cooked with Pork. The dish features good appearance and savory taste. The pork turns red and extremely tender when cooked with Black Dried Vegetable.

Black Awning BoatBlack Felt Hat has been a typical symbol of Shaoxing since a long time ago. It is made of pure wool and its procedure in production is quite complicated. In old days, the local people in Shaoxing liked wearing this kind of hat throughout the year, for it kept them warm in winters and presented them from strong sunlight in summers. Simply, it was a household necessity and an object symbolizing Shaoxing people. As a result, in the past, if some one went to Hangzhou or Shanghai wearing a black felt hat, the people in Hangzhou or Shanghai would immediately asked him whether he was from Shaoxing. Nowadays, Black Felt Hat is not so popular in Shaoxing for modern people, especially youngsters, tend to dress themselves up fashionably. But the senior citizens, fishers, farmers, boatmen still like wearing the black felt hats.

Black Awning Boat is another important and influential object of Shaoxing local color. It has two kinds: small Black Awing Boat and big Black Awning Boat. The small Black Awning Boat is a small wooden boat painted black. It has awning made of bamboo covering either end. It is a characteristic water transport vehicle in waterside Shaoxing. It is quick in movement and can hold 4 or 6 people. It is driven by manpower. The big Black Awning Boat is elaborately designed and is carved with an oddly shaped animal: Yi. Yi is a legendary bird living at sea. It is said that the bird is very strong and it can kill a dragon easily. In Chinese legend, Dragons are often in charge of the sea. So the boatmen carve the bird on the boat to keep off the assault from dragons. Nowadays, the big Black Awning Boat, which used to be special for the ancient officials and rich men, is rare. But you can easily come across a small black awning boat in Shaoxing, for it is still the chief water transport vehicle in Shaoxing at present. To enjoy Shaoxing wine together with a Shaoxing cuisine in a narrow black felt boat and appreciate the beautiful landscape will certainly be a great joy for you.




Black Felt Hat 







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