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Keeping ancient Yunnan alive with traditional cuisine


02-15-2017 12:19 BJT

By CCTV.com Panview editor team     

Editor’s foreword: "Looking China" International Youth Film Project is co-organized by the Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture (AICCC), Beijing Normal University and Huilin Foundation, which aims to showcase the contrasting simplicity and glamour, the antiquity and fashion of China through unique perspectives of young foreign film makers.

As of the year 2016, 101 students from 25 countries were invited to participate in the project. They were stationed in 13 municipality, provinces and autonomous regions here in China. Every filmmaker has worked out a 10-minute short film about Chinese culture around the topic of “ethnic minority”.

The film, Man is What He Eats, directed by Fabio Ragni highlights the special cuisine of the Bai people living in Dali, Southwest China’s Yunnan province.

Dali sits in an idylic natural scenic location. The Bai people can be one with nature and they built roads with water streaming on the paths.

Upon viewing footage, one can see villagers wearing a passion for traditional and colorful outfits. But, they are even more enthusiastic about the local cuisine, which originates from a nearby town, Xizhou.

The most popular food seems to be Xizhoubaba that tastes and looks similar to the pizzas you would find in an Italian eatery. It’s all the more surprising since the region is so isolated.

Makers of Xizhoubaba knead the dough and fill it with ingredients of meat and vegetables. But there are no stove top ovens for them. The Bai people place charcoal in a large tin can, set it on fire and cook it outdoors.

The food is a crowd favorite for the locals and foreign visitors coming to Dali and Xizhou. The amazing pizza with Chinese characteristics demonstrates that Western-style food can be found in the far corners of China as well.

No wonder there is a story in China that suggests pizza is an adaptation of the famous Chinese food scallion pancake, brought back to Italy by Marco Polo.


(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)

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