BY: BEIJING ZHU (朱蓓静)
“The producers are responsible for looking for food, and we are responsible for drooling.”
This was the claim that went viral after the release of a CCTV food documentary entitled “A Bite of China” (《舌尖上的中国》) captured the stomachs of millions, triggering a wave of collective nostalgia for the flavors of hometown cooking.
In seven episodes, the documentary traces local specialties and distinctive food cultures from all over the country, from China’s fertile Jiangnan region to the vast grasslands of Inner Mongolia. Connoisseurs can explore remote villages and bustling metropolises, many “complaining” that the food shot in the documentary looks so mouth-watering that they can’t resist the temptation to “lick” (舔 tiǎn) the TV screen.
“Who is the most miserable person in the world?” netizens asked. “A foodie on a diet. But when the foodie on a diet encounters a documentary called ‘A Bite of China’, he becomes the most miserable person in the universe.”