Dali was one of the stops of my trip to China, which took me from Beijing to Hong Kong.
Several things struck me about the food in China. First, it was generally so much better than the one served in the (probably) hundreds of Chinese restaurants we have in Madrid. Not only was it tastier, but also much less oily than what passes for Chinese food here.
I was also surprised to find that the Chinese often like their food spicy, and chili, both fresh and dried, was used in many recipes.
Lastly, I was impressed by how fresh the ingredients looked and tasted, particularly vegetables. Dali’s restaurants were a great example of this, with their almost lavish displays of fresh produce at the entrance.
Shown on the photo is not a shop, as you may initially think, but a restaurant in Dali. There was no menu or, if there was, it was only in Chinese. It didn’t matter, though, because many customers would simply step outside, pick what they wanted to eat and tell the waiter, like the couple on the photo. Not shown on the photo, on the left, there was another display for meat and fish.
Since speaking English was not an option, and none of us spoke Chinese, we just pointed to the ingredients that caught our eye, and trusted the cook would prepare them in a delicious way, which he did.