Hong Kong is on China's southern coast, 60 km east of Macau and is a frequent stopover or holiday destination for Australians and travellers worldwide. Its humid tropical climate is attractive to tourists and the landscape hosts mountain ranges, farmland, villages and cities.
This place has some of the most diverse food options you’ll ever see! The roads are filled with options to suit any tastebud, with the influx of cultures adding some new flavours. Though, one thing must not be forgotten, in the villages of Hong Kong is where the traditional practices are held, for farming, harvest and a world of history.
The villages are facing an epidemic in Hong Kong as their numbers decrease. The city is well known for it financial business playground and international ports, though as we move through this next phase in the world and the changing environmental focus, villages are finally in the conversations of the people, even attracting negotiations about their future in government.
In this buzzing landscape, share of locally grown fresh vegetables has dropped from over 30 per cent of the Hong Kong market in 1986 to just 1.7 per cent in 2016 and this continues to decline with the city relying heavily on imported goods.
There is farming land available, but the landlords are not interesting in leasing to farmers, as they find revenue in potential development opportunities. In 2017 the government launched a scheme to encourage land owners to lease to farmers to create more food security and develop lands in an ecological way so that it may benefit the environment in return, though the approval process through government departments has been slow.
CommuniFood was in Hong Kong at the time of the Novel Corona Virus outbreak, so our contact with villages and exploration was limited, though that did not stop us from stepping out and learning about traditional Hong Kong cuisine, the busy market area and cultural life.
The streets of Hong Kong are buzzing, with food stalls, carts, markets and stores. There is so much offer and is often recognised as a foodie heaven. A lot of the dishes in Hong Kong are small, bite size friendly, so pacing up and down the streets you can allocate a little stomach room for a few options.
What to try!
Pineapple Bun: Now if there is something we noticed here in Hong Kong, is that bakeries are booming! 1 out of 7 shops offers baked good and walking past the delicious smell gets harder every step. The Pineapple Bun actually doesn’t contain any pineapple (go figure) but gets it name for its presentation; crackly sweetness
on the outside and bread-y goodness on the inside. It’s sweet bread and my gosh it’s good.
Dim Sum: You can not go to Hong Kong without indulging in the Dim Sum. Full of different stuffings- these lightly wrapped, steamed or friend Dim Sums are traditional amongst the people and just a step up from the Dim Sum is the PORK BUN (for those meat lovers out there). Must try options in Hong Kong!
Egg Waffles: A famous street food, traditionally called ‘gai daan zai’ these are Hong Kong’s version of waffles and are pretty safe to eat from the street carts.
The most traditional dish we came across and also so close to the Chinese lunar new year as Poon Choi. It’s like seeing all the food you would consume in a banquet seating placed by strategic layers into a huge bowl. Many different flavours of meat, seafood, poultry and then some vegetables. Shared amongst family and friends, it’s the most traditional meal in Hong Kong currently (even more traditional than the Dim Sum!).
We hope to return to Hong Kong again and find our way towards more of the villages to learn more about their labour of food and harvest. With new measures in place to help rectify the current farming absence, the future is on the way up for Hong Kong and it’s residents, with so much knowledge in the land beneath their feet.
Until Next Time.