On 25thOctober,2010, two of our group member, Rosa and Renée, went to Sheung Wan to participate a trip lead by the profess from the Department of Anthropology. We first enjoy our breakfast, Yun Cha (飲茶) in a famous traditional Chinese restaurant Lin Heung Kui (蓮香居). The old-style of Yam Cha is really different from what we are doing nowadays, there are also some dim sum that we cannot find in other Chinese restaurants. We really experience a culture through this meal.
After having breakfast, we started our tour.
We first visited different stores selling “Dried Seafood”. Whenever we entered a store, we talked to the owners. We asked about what their stores mainly sell, when they start their business, how they change the business strategy of their stores to adapt to changes in society. We also asked some questions concerning the food they are selling. These owners are patience; they do not find us annoying but even explain to us how to use different dried seafood to cook various meals. In some stores, the owners allowed us to smell or even try the dried food. Some stores have been operated for so long that they show us a receipt with a telephone number of 6-digits.What the owners tell us is not only the history of their “dried seafood stores”, but also the history of Sheung Wan. They told us how their shop move due to construction or reclamation project in Sheung Wan, why they diverse the kind of dried foods sell because of changing market demand.
After visiting “dried seafood stores”, we then head to the street where stores there mainly sell “salty fish”. The staff there explained to us different method to make a “salty fish”, how is the taste changes when different methods are used to “ salt” the fish, what meals can we make with these salty fishes. The owners expressed their pity that fewer people nowadays appreciate salty fish or willing to buy it and cook. They added that young people do not like salty fish. If their stores are shut down, our next generation will know nothing about this special food in Hong Kong.
It is really an eye-opening experience. We really do not expect to learn so much before we participate this trip. This tour not only shows us the history of “dried Seafood Street”, but also the history of “old Hong Kong”.