Displayed on a round table is the most dazzling ensemble of 40
Chinese dishes. Amongst these plates is a whole bear’s claw surrounded
by little glistening fish tongues; civet cat with pears, and a steaming
bowl of bird’s nest soup. Every plate is presented with the utmost care
and detail; onlooker’s mouths may water, but there’s no use tucking in —
it’s all plastic.
The extraordinary spread is a reconstruction of the Man-Han
banquet of the Qing Dynasty court, displayed in the Hangzhou Cuisine
Museum to replicate the most famous meal in Chinese history. The museum
has hundreds of models of food that are built to scale, ranging from
Buddhist vegetarian dishes, snacks eaten in the Middle Ages by
canal-dwellers, to the delicate pastries made during the Song Dynasty
800 years ago.
You might expect a food museum to display food from an entire
country, searching every corner of every city to source the most
interesting bites to display. What’s so wonderful about this museum is
that it’s a celebration of the gastronomy found in only one Chinese
city. It’s really honed in on the local cuisine and celebrated what
Hangzhou has to offer — if you ever wondered what the people ate all
those years ago, it’s all there in front of you, ready to be devoured
(visually, that is).
At Eurest, we believe that preserving a sense of what’s local
is very important. We’re all about valuing local preferences,
celebrating them — and building them into our menus. And we work to
support farmers and growers across the country so you can get fresh food
delivered through a distribution network that’s focused on driving down
Just like the Hangzhou Cuisine Museum, your restaurant can
celebrate what your community has to offer. But this time, your
customers get to enjoy the food, rather than getting a serious case of
Dunlop, Fuchsia 2014. ‘China’s new passion for food museums’, BBC News Magazine [online], http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25960041, (Accessed 06 February 2014).