It is impossible to have a “Best of Beijing” post without including food, right? Right.
I always knew there were Chinese bakeries, but I never really explored them. I guess a stubborn Western stereotype I always had in my mind was just that the Chinese just don’t know how to make good pastries.
My favorite fruit market in the entire world has various non-fruit stalls snaking around the main walls that I decided to check out one morning, and actually try the food they offered. Man, have I been missing out! Chinese pastries are not as sweet as Western ones, but they are a lot more interesting. The far bottom photo is of bread made from tofu, and various ones in between are made of sesame paste, pumpkin, green tea, etc.
From all the apartments I have been in in Beijing, I was sure that ovens were a luxury and anything wider than 2 feet long was a luxury. The metal thing behind the vendor just below is actually a huuuge oven, so I guess it is possible!
Oh, one other great thing about these bakeries. I would order a very full bag of different pastries just for myself so I could try everything, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to finish everything. The total price would still be less than 8 RMB (1.30 USD) – I definitely can’t complain!