I only heard elders mentioned it, but I have never tasted it, what is it? It has a name “alien smoke vegetable”, which may have rung a bell to anyone who has some knowledge about modern Chinese history. It has another scaring name when it grows up, called opium poppy. Words have it that a lot of these poisonous crops, with florid flowers, were planted in Guizhou Province of China in the 1920s and 1930s. According to the elders` memory, before the opium poppy bloomed and ripened, it looked like a sea of seedlings. In times of insufficiency, those tobacco growers would pick up poppy seedlings and sell them in the market. “So crisp, so tender, when you put it in the hotpot.” said my grandfather. Now, thanks to the advanced technology, there already exists poppy seed oil. Once my friends gave me some, and the cold dressed dish tasted really delicious with it. This makes me much more eager for the “alien smoke vegetable”. When will I have the opportunity to taste the same as my elders once did?
Of course, in addition to this kind of seedlings that almost violate Chinese law and moral standard, there are many morally healthy ones that people are relieved to eat. For example, summer season is the appropriate time for pumpkin seedlings, fuzzy melon seedlings and sweet potato leaves, which are called “jian” or “dian” in the southwest China. There are great Chinese food recipes ingredients. These two Chinese characters are blessed with positive meanings, “top”. Surely, they grow up where it is the nearest to the sun, so they are born with certain privileges. The scarce fibre makes them tender in taste. Moreover, the pea seedlings in winter are a good choice, which can render the tenderest comfort in the freezing cold. The sweet potato leaves are all for common people in China, because a plate of them just costs quite little.
Tempting Sweet Potato Leaves
These seedlings are rare in the north part of China mostly. They only exist in our memory. Things are better for fuzzy melon seedlings, which can be seen in Cantonese restaurants and occasionally in exclusive shops for vegetables from the south of China. The tine peas are often available, for there are more and more greengrocers from Sichuanprovince of China in the market. Even so, the seedlings are not so tasty as those in the south after being transferred by air to the dry and windy northern area. The most delicious part has already been sucked into the cabin and the withered air in the north.
Classic Pumpkin Seedlings Dish
Several years ago, my neighbors planted various kinds of vegetables, most of which are pumpkins, under the dry pond in our yard. At this time of the year, pumpkin seedlings were everywhere, so they naturally became the game of “thieves” at dark nights. For many evenings, I conquered my nervousness and nipped the seedlings one by one and packed them up. Unfortunately, I had several such good days until the neighborhood began to launch the war against thieves of the pumpkin seedlings. One night when I was nipping and packing, an aunt who lurked found me and cried out: “How gluttonous you are!” Later, they began to spill pesticide on the seedlings, and this year they no longer planted them. So my idea of “stealing” vanishes. After all, the pumpkin was not planted by me.