A Chef’s dreamland

So not only have we eaten some strange things while we’ve been here but we found amazing knives! I’m getting ahead of myself.

This morning we went to The Jade Buddha Temple. The carvings and statues were amazing! Seems even with all of the people that live in China and visit here it is still a small world. While we were at the temple today I ran into the lady that I switched seats with on our plane from Seattle to Beijing. She and her group came to Shanghai yesterday too, crazy!image

After that we went to a silk factory to see, start to finish, how silk products are made. Its crazy that such a small cocoon can be unraveled so much! We got to see a lady taking the worms out of the cocoon and then stretch it over bamboo to make layers. To kill the worms inside they bake the cocoons, I kind of like that part (not a big fan of moths). It was a process that I had never thought about and I definitely never expected it to have so many steps. Another thing I never really considered was the strength of the silk. It was very hard to stretch, the lady said we could punch it and still not break a hole through it.

Next we were off to another market area that Jon said was like China Town in China. A lot of traditional buildings and architecture and many shops. This is where the knife place would be he said. As soon as we were able to break up into smaller groups (and after eating) we went straight to the knife shop. They had A LOT of cleavers but they also had garde manger kits (tools for making pretty garnishes) paring knives and chef knives. They even had Damascus steel ones which is layered steel that makes the knife stronger and last longer, it is $500-$600 in the US. I was like a kid in a candy shop for the first time. The man showed us the knives and cut paper so we could see how sharp they were. The price in US money was $160 for a chef knife. I tried to walk away but I couldn’t. I ended up getting the knife, a garde manger kit that would cost $125 in the US and a set of paring/bird’s beak knives all for $187. I’m still geeking out about it! I hope my mom will be as excited as I am when she reads this. I would offer to let her use it but last time she used one of my knives she almost cut her thumb off.

Tonight after dinner we are going to an acrobatic show. That should be incredible! I hope we can take pictures! A few nights ago we went to a kung fu show and couldn’t take pictures. I hated that because my brothers would have loved it. I’m sure the acrobats will be something to see too, we know the Chinese are very flexible. We went to a park in Beijing and saw what had to be 70 year old people flipped over on themselves and basically folded in half. Off to dinner now.

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