The Top 7 Dali Foods You Must Try
Dali gains its great name not only for its natural beauty and unique ethnic culture, but also its dishes historically cooked by the Bai minority. As Dali is an ancient city with different cultures, visitors can also enjoy a variety of foods from other places of Yunnan Province and other parts of China.
1. Stewed Carp Casserole
It is a clay pot fish casserole/stew made from salted Erhai Lake carp. This dish includes 28 ingredients and numerous seasonings. It is usually served as a main course in the festivals and celebrations. This nutritious dish will meet your appetite.
2. Steamed Chicken
This dish is a specialty of Yunnan Province. Choose a tender chicken steamed in a pot and seasoned with various traditional Chinese herbs. Not only keep the original flavor of the chicken but also add medicinal qualities.
3. Dairy Fans
This fan-shaped yogurt and milk mixture is a local specialty. The process of cooking this is similar to cook pancakes. Mix the ingredients together and then spread into a pan. It is often fried or melted atop other foods. Visitors can taste this delicious snack on the roadsides and lanes of the city.
4. Er Kuai
Er Kuai, a rice-based dish, is a typical food enjoying the greatest popularity in Yunnan Province. The rice is prepared after the steps of washing, soaking, and stewing. Then mash the processed rice into a paste and mold into various lumps, slices, and shreds. Season them with sugar, walnut, or sesame and toast over burning charcoals.
5. Xizhou Town Ba Ba
Ba Ba is in fact a kind of savory snack made from wheat flour. Firstly, mold the dough into a cake form. Then, sprinkle chopped onions, salt, and diced ham on it. Finally, bake it in oil. This local fast-food is favored by both locals and travelers alike.
6. Three Courses Tea
Tea is the most popular drink among the Bai. Three Courses Tea is a traditional regional tea ceremony originating during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), just as its name implies drinking tea at three courses to enjoy different tastes. The first cup of tea tastes bitter, the second is sweeter, while the third cup has added seasoning for a more fragrant, lingering aftertaste. The three kinds of tastes just depict the three periods of one person’s life.
The visitors interested in sampling the tea ceremony can go to Yan's Compound in Xizhou Village. The place can be reached by minibusses departing from both Xiaguan and Dali Ancient City. Alternatively, this type of ceremony can also be enjoyed on a number of cruise ships on the Erhai Lake. It is very enjoyable to indulge in natural beauty, as well as learning the tea ceremony.
7. Butter Tea
This is a tea traditionally made among the Tibetan communities. It is made from a combination of boiled yak butter mixed with salty tea.
Most of the above local specialties can be tasted on Foreigner Street of Dali Ancient City. Besides, the western-style restaurants and bars are also found on this road.