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Special products of Xitang include: yellow rice wine, steamed pork wrapped in lotus leaves, cake of “eight treasures”, strong-smelling bean curd, Fen Lake crabs, glutinous rice dumplings, yellow cake, steamed dumplings with fresh pork, smoked green soya bean, turnip in honey, boiled fish and cicada’s skin stuffed with meat.
Yellow cake is also called summer cake. It’s a Xitang seasonal snack with a thousand-year tradition. Ding family yellow cake is made in the traditional way with glutinous rice, black seeds, red peas, walnut kernels, white sugar, cudweed herbs and wheat germ as the ingredients. Ding family yellow cake tastes soft, not sticky or pasty. The cudweed herbs are fragrant, greatly increasing people’s appetite. Cudweed herbs can also help you digest the food and lose the fat, prolonging your life. The herbs are a good present for friends and relatives.
Steamed Pork Wrapped in Lotus Leaves
Steamed pork wrapped in lotus leaves is a famous traditional dish in the ancient town. A spiced side of pork, spiced and fried rice noodles, been curd skin and fresh lotus leaves are accompanied by cloves, aniseed, soy and sweet noodle sauce. This dish tastes special. The meat is crisp and not fatty, and is suitable for eating with drinks as well as snacks. It also brings the summer heat reducing and blood-stanching function of the lotus leaves into full play.
Every year when broad beans are on the market, people in Xitang take the green-skinned and black-ended beans to bake in the sun. They then boil the sun-baked broad beans with seasoned orange peels, peppers, cooking wine, salt and aniseed, making the flavors soak into the beans. Then they take the beans out and dry them with a coating of licorice powder. When the beans are 70 to 80 percent dry, they put them into a wok and stir-fry them until crisp. This is how the delicious spiced beans are made. This is an after meal snack.
Yellow Rice Wine
People in Xitang have always been fond of yellow rice wine. Thus, there are many yellow rice wine workshops in the history of Xitang. Now the biggest single yellow rice wine producing enterprise in China, Jiashan Winery, is located in the north of Xitang Ancient Town. This factory stringently controls the quality of its products and produces more than 20 wine types of the Fenhu (Fen Lake) series, such as high-grade Shaoxing wine and yellow rice wine. These wines feature mildness, mellowness and unique taste, and are good gifts for relatives and friends.
Cake of "Eight Treasures"
Cake of "eight treasures" is made with 8 medicinal herbs (Chinese yams, tuckahoe, amaranth, rice kernels, malt, hyacinth beans, lotus meat and hawthorn berries) and high-quality glutinous rice flour. This cake is purple and crisp. In early times, it sold well for curing infant malnutrition. Later on, due to careful selection of materials, fine processing, its fragrant and sweet taste and its benefits to the spleen and stomach, it has gradually become a famous product in the South of the Yangtze region, with a sustained reputation of over 100 years.
Glutinous Rice Dumplings
The glutinous rice dumplings in Xitang have many stuffings, such as fresh meat, sweet bean paste and lard oil. Owing to maintenance of good rice quality, adequate spices and tight wrapping, it has become one of the traditional tourist products of this small town
Sixth Month Red Crabs
"Sixth month red" refers to river crabs produced in the sixth month of the Chinese calendar. The body of a sixth month red crab is only the size of a hen's egg. The crab’s meat is fresh and tender, crab fat is full of nutritious oil and the crab’s shell is very thin. The crab is bright red after being steamed in clean water. It is very famous for this reason. As the saying goes around nearby Hangjia Lake, which is famous for sixth month red crabs, "Never forget the Sixth Month Red, even if very poor."
The major difference between Xitang and other ancient water towns lies in the ceilinged corridors (about 1,000 meters (1,100 yards) long) beside the river, which are just like the Summer Palace Corridor. » more
Special products of Xitang include: yellow rice wine, steamed pork wrapped in lotus leaves, cake of “eight treasures”, strong-smelling bean curd, Fen Lake crabs and glutinous rice dumplings.» more
Xitang is 90 km from Shanghai City, 100 km from Hangzhou City and 80 km from Suzhou City. The new class-A Shanjiang Highway runs by the town of Xitang, joining National Highway 320. » more
There are 3 kinds of inns in Xitang: ancient houses from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), riverside inns and modern hotels. » more
Take a boat from Futang Pier by Songzilaifeng Bridge. There are boats for rent in the daytime. There are tour boats in the evening. Boats depart when the seats are all taken. » more
The hottest time is in July, with an average temperature of 27ºC.The coldest time is in January, with an average temperature of 4.5 ºC. The frost--free period is 240 days. » more