In the water city of Taizhou, the expectation of autumn is not only the colorful autumn view, but also the taste of autumn that you cannot miss. The city has a dense network of water and abundant crabs. The crabs in Taizhou were famous in the Song Dynasty and were once offered as tribute to the imperial court. Nowadays, Taizhou is also the largest crab producing area in China. When autumn arrives and the crabs grow fat, the delicious Taizhou "eight dishes of crabs" (Zhen Lake Hairy Crabs, Xinghua Hairy Crabs, Crab Roe Soup Dumplings, Zhongzhuang Wine Preserved Crabs, Sheet Jelly with Crab Roe, Stewed Crab Roe Meatball, Crab Roe Tofu) become popular dishes on the table of Taizhou people.
Zhen Lake Hairy Crabs
Zhen Lake has tasty fish and fat crabs. The wide lake is rich in algae, water plants, snails, clams, and other natural foodstuff, which is suitable for the reproduction and growth of crabs and wild fish. Every autumn, people will set up "fish trap" (crab trapping tool made of bamboo sticks) to catch crabs. Only fat and strong crabs can climb over the fish trap and become the worthy Zhen Lake Hairy Crabs. These Zhen Lake Hairy Crabs deserve being called "the best of crabs".
If you want to taste the most authentic Zhen Lake Hairy Crabs, the first choice is the Zhen Lake Hairy Crabs Village. In the village, you can watch the fishermen's traditional crab trapping technique, and enjoy the unique fishing village scenery. The banquet of Zhen Lake Hairy Crabs has many dishes of crab with various flavors. The steamed crabs retain the fresh sweetness with overflowing crab oil; the iced wine preserved crabs have a light wine aroma; the crab roe meat balls are tender and juicy, and melt in the mouth; the refreshing crab roe buns ooze with soup. Every dish can make people’s mouths water.
After savoring the crabs, boating on the Zhen Lake is an enormous pleasure. Riding a row-boat slowly and surrounded by cattail and reeds, you can enjoy the autumn wetland view, watch white swans, spot-billed ducks, woodcocks and other wetland creatures, intoxicated in the picturesque lake scenery.
Taixing Ghost Crab
Taizhou borders the Yangtze River in the south, and the blend of the Yangtze River’s water and sandy soil provides ideal conditions for the growth of Taixing Ghost Crabs. Because of continuous flow of natural water, the crabs have to move a lot, and thus the ghost crabs are fat and strong. Meanwhile, the bottom of the pond with sandy soil has no silt, therefore the crabs there is whiter, its meat is delicate with creamy roe.
To taste the authentic Taixing Ghost Crabs, you may go to the farmhouses in Xuanbao Town, Taixing. The people there are hospitable and always use the freshest crabs to treat the diners from afar. After the first taste of the creamy crab, you will find yourself unable to stop enjoying the delicious dish!
After eating the crab, take a walk to the National Ancient Ginkgo Park in Xuanbao Town. There are ancient ginkgo communities rare in China and even the world. More than 10,000 ginkgo trees stand there and more than 3,800 are over 100 years old. In autumn, the ginkgo forests are like never-ending golden ribbons, which is very spectacular. Walking in the ginkgo forest, bathing in the warm sun, you may feel like traveling in the golden sea, or walking in the time tunnel.
Xinghua Red-roe Crab
"Of the world’s three parts, water takes a part”. Xinghua is a famous water town, and the high-quality water there also nurtures the very high-quality red-roe crabs. Xinghua red-roe crabs are a member of the Chinese mitten crabs in the Yangtze River. After steaming, the roe is full, red and creamy, the meat is white and tender, and the taste is savory and sweet. Such delicious red-roe crab is really mouth-watering, as long as you come to Taizhou in the right season, restaurants in Xinghua’s streets and alleys allow you to eat to your heart’s content.
After you eat your fill, take a look at the Lizhong Water Forest Park in autumn. The cedar forests are spectacular, and as you ride a raft through the waterways between the cedar forests, the "tree bridges" offer an interesting sight, and unknown wild birds skim the water, making a poetic impression on your mind.
Please take "eating crabs" seriously in autumn, and come to Taizhou to taste the crab dishes, so that you don’t miss the best taste this season has to offer.