There's something about breakfast foods that excites and intrigues us. Some of our most nostalgic and delicious foods are breakfast foods! After all, it is our first meal of the day, a "breaking" of a "fast", and fuels our whole day. That's why breakfast is especially important when studying abroad when you have a whole day of learning, walking, and sweating ahead of you! Host families take special care to provide filling breakfasts with much variety, as well as to introduce traditional Chinese breakfast foods! Students have noted some similarities, like bread, eggs, and fruit. But there are also many foods that students have never had before in their life! Here are some of what students like to eat the most for breakfast before heading out to take the train or bus to school:
1. 抓饼, a flaky and soft tortilla that's wrapped with veggies, eggs, and meat. 2. 青团, a sticky dessert made from 艾草 a Chinese herbal grass. 3. Milk (many students have raved about milk in China being much better than milk in the U.S.!)
Plain rice porridge 粥 that is usually eaten with savory dishes, like sausage, eggs, preserved vegetables, and mustard greens. The yellow foods are sweet buns and glutinous-rice cakes.
Ah, something more familiar: blueberries (they are in season right now in Nanjing!), eggs, sweet potatoes, bread, and a sausage patty.
The dish on the right are delicious soup dumplings 小笼包! The skin of the dumpling is deliciously thin; one must be careful when biting into them because hot, savory soup will spill out! Chinese people usually eat the dumpling all in one bite. Our students are huge fans of these.
Another form of dumplings: wontons 混沌! These papery-thin wontons are always served in a light broth.
More rice porridge 粥, buns 包子, and a fragrant, floral fruit called the dragonfruit 火龙果！Fun fact: 火龙果 literally translates to "Fire Dragon Fruit". One of our students, Nick V., has thanked his host family for providing dragonfruit every single morning.
These are traditional Chinese breads/snacks made from flour! The flat, white round treats have sweet black sesame inside. And, of course, soup! Chinese people love their hot liquids. Our students struggled with that at first, especially because the weather itself is so hot.
More buns 包子 and breads!
More rice porridge with savory small dishes and 油条，the Chinese version of a fried crueller!
Hearty soup noodles with a sweet yogurt drink!
The triangles are 粽子，normally eaten during the Dragonboat Festival in autumn. They are savory and sweet sticky glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves.
Even through breakfast there is much culture and language to be learned and experienced!