Talking about China local food market, I don’t mean the Chinese food supermarket located in the town centre, but those food markets near the locals’ residential area.
China local food market is usually built near the residential area. The size of this kind market is depended on the population in the area.
Another term Chinese may use for such local market is “free market”, Zi You Shi Chang 自由市场. Of course, it does not mean “free” in terms of price, but in its formation.
There are different types of food markets, such as the indoor or covered market, the open-aired market or the street markets. If based on the open time, it can have the morning or the night market.
In the place I came from, the free market is usually located within the walking distance. The market opens in the morning because most people would come to buy breakfast.
The market remains open till people finish the work although most fresh vegetable may be sold before noon. During the day, the customers are most likely the retired people such as my parents.
Since the covered markets are located within a building. It is very convenient for customers during the raining days.
Each food stand has to pay a fee for the place. Unlike open-aired or street market, the food price is almost not negotiable, and maybe slightly more expensive than those from the street market.
The food stands are placed within the assigned areas. Depending on what food they sell, some stalls may stay open till late evening.
It is usually managed by the local authority, to keep the market organized and clean.
Unlike the supermarket, where vegetables are packed in the bags. Here all vegetables are fresh.
There are a number of butchers to sell the fresh meat.
In China, people eat more pork than beef and lamb. We do have these two types meat, but just having pork more often. As least this is what I have seen when growing up in the south.
Apart from pork, poultry such as chicken and ducks are often seen in our daily meals, but turkey and goose are bit unusual to see, especially turkey. So if you celebrate the Christmas in China, better be ready do this without turkey :)
The chicken and duck are cleaned and ready to sell.
Here are different types of eggs. The nearest ones with grey colour are the century eggs (pi dan, 皮蛋)，which are black inside. I know a lot foreign friends hate it, but I love it. Check my post to see how we make Chinese century egg dish at home.
The red-brown colour ones are the salted duck eggs, the out layer is wrapped by the mud with salt, that’s why it is brown colour.
Apart from the eggs, there are all kinds of Chinese seasonings and ingredients, black beans, dried chilli flakes, sauces and pastes. I can’t even name all of them!
Ok, that’s it for this post. Next time, I will show you the China local open-aired / street food market, where people buy food from the farmers and negotiate the price, so stay tuned :)
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(Posted: 03/03/15; Update: 06/03/17)
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