Hungry to improve your Chinese vocabulary, but don’t know where to dig in? Welcome to our weekly Foodie Flashcard series. Follow along, study these morsels of knowledge, then dig in at your local restaurant to fully digest the information.
What is it:
Chestnuts are a common snack all over China, but they’re mostly cultivated in northern China. Chestnuts are a great winter snack as they’re high in vitamin C and zinc, which helps boost the immune system to keep away those winter colds and flus. They are also high in potassium, magnesium, iron and manganese, as well as protein and B vitamins.
In traditional Chinese medicine, chestnuts are known as the kidney nut because they are good for replenishing the kidney and spleen. The perfect time to eat chestnuts in winter as TCM acknowledges them as a warming food that help expel the cold.
Where to find roasted chestnuts in Beijing:
Qiu Li Xiang (秋栗香)
Check out this family-run shop that sometimes has lines around the block. Passed down from generation to generation, going back to serving the emperors in the Forbidden City!
2 Di’an Men West Dajie. 地安门西大街2号. Open: 9:30am-9pm.
Where to find roasted chestnuts in Shanghai:
Shanghai First Food Hall (第一食品商店)
This recently-renovated food emporium is handy to the touristed areas of People’s Square, East Nanjing Road, and the Bund. You can find just about everything in a packaged form to take home as gifts, though there’s not too much in the fresh-food department, and there has been a bit of a fast-food vibe added to the area in recent years. Still worth checking out if you’ve never been.
720 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Guizhou Lu. 南京东路720号 近贵州路。Open 9am -9pm.