Fresh seafood, festival, antient village on beach

Publish time: 17th July, 2014      Source: China Daily
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Visitors are flocking to Shanghai's Jinshan District, a new Mecca for seafood lovers where the Seafood Culture Festival offers the bounty of the ocean, an unspoiled coastline, a fishing village, restaurants galore and plenty of activities.


The festival starts this month and runs for three months through the middle of October. Seafood lovers don't need to drive to Ningbo or Zhoushan Island in Zhejiang Province for the freshest, most delectable fare this summer.


Visitors can try varied seafood Ñ fish, shrimp, mollusks, seaweed Ñ in Jinshanzui Seafood City and along Jinshanzui Seafood Street, one of the oldest streets in Jinshan.


They can get a look at daily life in the Jinshanzui fishing village east of Jinshan City Beach, site of the Zebra Music Festival from next Friday through Sunday.


Freshly netted crabs, white shrimp, little yellow croakers and all kinds of marine animals are available. Diners can walk along, take their pick and tell cooks how they want their catch prepared Ñ fried, steamed, broiled, smoked, roasted with salt, threaded on a bamboo stick or just raw, fresh and salty.


Villagers are famous for cooking that preserves the natural flavor of seafood, including hairtail, mackerel, cuttlefish, crabs, clams, eel and others.


Old Fishing Eight


The "Old Fishing Eight' are the most renowned Jinshan-native seafood dishes. They are all cooked with mushrooms and fresh-caught seafood, including steamed sea cucumber, quick sautŽed wild white shrimp, croaker thick soup and many others.


The three-month eating bash also features numerous activities. On weekends and national holidays, visitors can enjoy an opera about the old fishing days at the teahouse in Jinshanzui fishing village.


On August 2 at the tourism center on Wukang Road, Xuhui District, the city's storytellers will gather to have a storytelling contest about fishing. At the same time, a photography exhibition of the fishing village will be on display.


From July to early September, citizens are welcome to send their photos of Jinshan City Beach, the fishing village, the seafood dishes or the Jinshan travel stories to a microblog and WeChat to win prizes. Artfully prepared specialty dishes, sea crabs, oysters and other seafood are available throughout the festival. Chefs from famous restaurants will take part in a cooking competition at the local Yongle Hotel in the late September. They will cook their signature seafood dishes, and visitors are invited to be the judges and vote for their favorite two dishes at each restaurant.


Jinshanzui fishing village, which lies on Hangzhou Bay, is Shanghai's oldest fishing village, dating back more than 2,000 years. It's the city's only old-time fishing hamlet that has been preserved and remains functional today.


For those interested in fishing culture and ancient architecture, an easy walk along the village's lanes is an eye-opening experience. Fisherman-farmer Zhang Minghui's house was restored to its old appearance of around 100 years ago.


Fishing culture


It has a large, decorated clay oven, an ornately carved king-size bed and an old-fashioned hardwood ba xian zhuo (a square table for eight people). It also contains a traditional workroom, where women wove and repaired fishing nets and made bamboo baskets to hold fish.


A few steps away is an exhibition hall showcasing old-time fishing gear, including various knives, fishing rods, nets, boating equipment and an old loom.


It also includes a model sampan, on a scale of 1:10, made by 65-year-old Jiang Pinyun, who began to make boats when he was a teenager. The model is a perfect miniature reproduction, containing all fishing equipment, as well as oars and a compass.


Those desiring a moment of peace can take a break at the newly opened coffee bar and reading room, or take a stroll at the pier by the sea.


The seafood street along the coastline might be the biggest attraction, where local snacks and fishing curios are sold. Fishermen's families run small eateries, and part-time fishermen sell their fresh catch on the street — cheaper and fresher than in the wet markets of the city center.


On offer are dried and cured fish, shrimp, and bottled and salted huang ni luo snails that are often gulped down with a bowl of congee in the morning.