Monday, June 11, 2012 Marketing Research Blog
China: A Culinary Journey by Gail Casey

As an avid foodie, I jumped at the chance to write a blog post about our culinary experiences in China. Before we left Wisconsin, there was a lot of discussion in the center as to what we would be eating in China—some were excited, some more daring, and lots apprehensive. All we knew was that “real Chinese food” wasn’t the same as what we were used to and that watching videos on YouTube wasn’t going to calm our nerves.

I think I can safely speak for all my classmates when I say that we were spoiled with food in China! Day after day, we encountered elaborate, family-style meals with countless authentic dishes to try. From dim sum in Hong Kong on our first day, to traditional Cantonese lunches and dinners in Guangzhou, to the infamous Peking duck in Beijing, I feel like we truly lucked out when it came to food. A special thanks to 1506 Creative City, the team at Wrigley, and our very own Hanjin for showing us the ropes and guiding us through Chinese cuisine and gastronomic customs.

Now, there were surely some challenges along the way. The vegetarians quickly learned that tofu is often cooked with meat stock and that fish sauce is used in many, many dishes. Some students played it safe, relying on granola bars and canned chili but, for the most part, the Nielsen students embraced the food culture and tasted some truly delicious and unique dishes.

For some, our trip to China was an opportunity to be adventurous with their food choices and earn bragging rights back home. Scorpions, grasshoppers, snake, chicken heads, fish eyes, cow stomach, duck tongue, and a wide variety of other street meats were all consumed by Nieslensites. In fact, Marjorie even wrote a whole jingle about street meat—ask her to sing it for you if ever you get the chance!

Here are a few pictures to whet your appetites. If ever you find yourself in China, put your apprehensions aside, grab your chopsticks, dig in, and enjoy! A one-of-a-kind culinary journey awaits you.  

China: A Culinary Journey China: A Culinary Journey
Dim Sum in Hong Kong Dinner in Guangzhou
China: A Culinary Journey China: A Culinary Journey
Best. Shrimp. Ever. (Dinner in Guangzhou) Lunch in Foshan at 1506 Creative City, with Class of 2010 grad Ping and her brother
China: A Culinary Journey China: A Culinary Journey
Val and Gail enjoying octopus Peking Duck in Beijing
China: A Culinary Journey China: A Culinary Journey
Street Meat Street Insects