Moment in Peking, by Lin Yutang
Many of the things Mannia experienced were not entirely new to her, but everything was done better or was prettier than in her home town in Shantung. Before she started on her vegetarian period she learned that Peking sausages and ducks were better than Shantung sausages and ducks; the Peking dumplings that she ate at Winter Solstice were daintier than the Shantung tangtuan; and Peking had such a variety of pastries and sweets, and all sorts of “small foods,” the names of which do not matter because one must eat them in order not to be deceived by their namesakes in other parts of the country. She insisted on the excellence of Shantung cabbage, but she found Peking had just as good cabbage which became the more delicious as the season grew colder. Now she still took the dumplings, and she took the lapacho, a gruel eaten on the eighth day of December, consisting of glutinous millet, rice, glutinous rice, red dates, small red beans, water chestnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pine seeds, melon seeds, cooked together with white or brown sugar. It was such a different lapacho that she dared not think of mentioning Shantung lapacho in the same breath.