Pancake Make-up

Ah! This is the kind of result we women want to see when we go to the beauty salon. From 76 year-old Chinese woman to 23 year-old western woman, in one treatment. (I presume the left half is the “after” picture.) Long live truthful advertising.

Oh, wonderful Zhongshan where I’ve just spent a day and a half. I came here for the sole purpose of taking one photo that I forgot to take last time I was here two weeks ago, that of a street vendor making my number 1 favourite food when I lived in Beijing in 1988: What I then mistakenly called Beijing Pancake. Although its number 1 slot has since long been overtaken by Sichuan food and I realised “Beijing Pancake” was just called “fried cake” and was available anywhere in the north, I was thrilled to come to Zhongshan for the first time earlier this month and find this a common street food here.

1. You spread some pancake mixture on a hot plate and crack an egg on it

2. You sprinkle some spring onion and pickled cabbage

3. What? No! You DON’T add some sickeningly sweet sausage! That’s a new and horrible thing. Wrong wrong wrong.

4. You fold the thing in two

5. and smear some brown paste on it (possibly oyster sauce)

6. Then comes the all-important chilli paste and some fried dough

7. whereupon you cut it in half

8. and voila! No, I didn’t buy this stack. I made him make me just one, without the totally inappropriate sausage.

9. Throughout the process, you maintain the same beatific smile.

It was in fact one of these vendors who was the author of one of my very first foreigner-cheatings in China all those years ago. He tried to charge me 2 yuan although it clearly said 1 on his cart. When I pointed this out in my five-worded Mandarin, the 30 or so spectators who had gathered around to watch Whitey Buying Something From Someone broke out in wild laughter and applause.

Now, apparently, Fried Cake has increased in price by 800%. I think I was cheated again, but it was worth it. I got the photos and filmed the production process. Now I want to find the place where they make Old Crone look like Young Smoothie! (Or vice versa.)

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One Response to Pancake Make-up

  1. Heather says:

    They make those 2 minutes’ walk away from my teacher’s dorm. They’re fantastic!

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