Nantong, a coastal and riverside city, boasts pleasant natural environment and humid climate. In addition, most food ingredients of Nantong people are from mother nature, which also contributes to the longevity enjoyed by them. There are many ways to keep in good health, among them, the simplest way is diet therapy, which is frequently mentioned by Chinese people. This winter, let’s find out the food secret of Nantong, the city of longevity.

Secret of Centenarians

Rugao, located in the northwest of Nantong, is a real village of longevity. The secret of centenarians in Rugao lies in the local ingredients. To be specific, local white radish, which has been planted for thousands of years, is famous for its thin skin, crisp and juicy texture, and the dried radish promotes the secretion of saliva, whets the appetite, and helps digestion, is the best choice for serving as a refreshment or going with rice. Baipu Rice Wine, a “liquid bread” produced with local high-quality rice and water by traditional brewing technology, is featured by its low alcohol content, slightly sweet taste, and functions of soothing muscles and blood circulation, and health improvement. As a traditional healthy food suitable for all ages, Dried Baipu Tea, which is well-known for its strict selection of raw materials and exquisite production technology, is rich in a variety of plant proteins, amino acids, and trace elements. Ginger is not only a seasoning ingredient, as a bowl of ginger soup may be more effective for treating cold than medicine. It has been a long-formed health habit of the elderly in Rugao to drink a cup of ginger tea in the morning, always have a ginger slice in mouth, and soak feet in ginger water at night.In addition to diet therapy based on health food, the Rugao Longevity Museum in the Shuihui Park Scenic Area displays the longevity history, folk customs, macrobiotic old men of Rugao, and results of research on longevity. The longevity culture of Rugao, a poetic town, deserves experience for all visitors to this park.

Healthy Baijiu (Chinese Liquor)

Yisheng Rice Wine, a type of healthy Chinese liquor, has a close relationship with Zhang Jian, a modern Chinese industrialist, who founded Yisheng Distillery to produce Yisheng Rice Wine with a unique formula. With high-quality Daqu liquor made from sticky-seed red sorghum serving as the base, the liquor contains more than ten kinds of herbal juices such as safflower, bergamot, and tangerine peel. After more than half a year of brewing and storage, it is still clear and refreshing, with a long aftertaste. As a type of healthy Chinese liquor, it has the functions of invigorating the spleen and stomach, dispelling wind-phlegm, relaxing sinew and activating coll. In 1904, it was also awarded with a certificate of merit on the Osaka World Exposition in Japan.

The establishment of Yisheng Distillery is a practice of Zhang Jian’s philosophy of “saving the nation by engaging in industry”. In Yisheng Village, Changle Town, the hometown of Zhang Jian, landmarks such as Yisheng Cultural Museum, which was transformed from Yisheng Distillery, the former site of Zhuangyuan (No.1 Scholar in Imperial Exams) Mansion (Zhang Jian’s Fuhaituo), the Century-old Cellar, Secret Recipe Exhibition Hall, Pottery Workshop, Tasting Experience Center…are all available for tourists to appreciate the stories of the past, serving as an unforgettable experience.

River & Sea Food

Since Nantong is located at the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Yellow Sea, natural food ingredients from the river and the sea are indispensable in the diet of Nantong people. These fresh foods that provide locals with a great variety of trace elements and nutrients are gifts from the river and the sea and are essential for the food secret of longevity of Nantong people. Clams collected from the mud flats on the west coast are extremely big and fleshy, which can be served as a delicacy just by frying quickly in a pot of hot oil with sauteed ginger and garlic, known as “the No.1 fresh food in the world”. Furthermore, clams were also recorded in the Compendium of Materia Medica, a famous traditional Chinese medical work, to have therapeutic value for many diseases.Clams are delicious but not rare. In the Xiao Yang Kou Scenic Area of Nantong, “Disco on the Sea” is the most interesting entertainment, as tourists would walk into the sand to step on the sand while twisting their waists rhythmically after the tide recedes, just like dancing the disco. After a short while, innumerable colorful clams would be exposed gradually. After being collected with a basket, they will be served as simple delicacies either by cooking at home or by cooking in a local restaurant.

Picture: Zhuijiang Ganhai Nantong Trip

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