The Year of the Tiger is not considered auspicious for marriage, so in the last days of the Year of the Ox there was a rush of weddings. Lily and Wan Li held their wedding banquet in Guangzhou on 31st January - a magnificent event with a 13 course meal. The dishes are almost always the same and there are hidden, lucky meanings in most of them.
The Chinese are great 'snackers'. Throughout China, in the evenings in particular, street markets offer a huge range of foods. These snacks from a night market in Beijing prove once again that, to the Chinese, anything is a potential food...
In the first decade of this century, every morning in Xiamen in China, you would find people selling breakfast foods from barrows to people on their way to work. The project was set up by the government about around the year 1999 to provide employment for the jobless and to ensure that everyone could have a good breakfast.
Fenghuang — Phoenix Town — is a town in the west of Hunan Province, 6 hours by bus from the provincial capital of Changsha. It is built on the banks of a river, and the old town is very largely preserved or has been restored keeping its original style. Fenghuang has a number of sweet specialities, the most common of which can be seen being made in small shops all over the old town: ginger toffee.
The Ye family have been making award-winning maci — pronounced "ma-tse" — sesame cakes for decades. They are one of the specialities of Gulangyu Islet — now known by its name in the local Hokkienese dialect: Kulangsu — where visitors and locals alike stop to buy them on a busy corner from a diminutive cart.
Originally from the north of China, hand-made noodles can be found on street corners across the whole country. Watch the awesome skill of this noodle-puller as he makes two of the most popular types, Lamian (pulled noodles) and Daoxiao Mian (knife-cut noodles).
A visit to Liu Shunli's teashop in Xiamen is a leisurely affair as he makes tea for tasting - not drinking - explaining the process and customs involved. He talks about the properties of Tieguanyin Tea, one of China's most famous teas, grown in the plantations of Anxi.
Xi'an, long the capital of China from the time of Qin Shihuangdi, the first emperor, is not only famous for its history, but also for its jiaozi dumplings; one restaurant in particular offering some 120 varieties.