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Rhythms of an ancient life (6)

By Huo Yan and Huang Zhaohua (China Daily)

09:14, May 16, 2012

Huangyao, a 1,000-year-old town with Ming and Qing-style architecture, nestles in the mountains of southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. (Provided to China Daily)

Along with sealwort wine, Huangyao fermented black bean has been sold in places as far away as the Southeast Asian countries for 60 years. We were told that some of the trademarks for these products are centuries old.

In a 10-square-meter workshop, we saw a huge 1-meter-high cask. A row of dustpans was piled high on its wooden frame.

"We still follow the traditional method that involves steaming the beans in the cask for hours and then soaking it for 20 minutes in spring water," the workshop owner says.

The beans are then laid out on the dustpans to be cooled before being returned to the workshop for fermentation.

Controlling the humidity and temperature in the workshop is not easy and is central to the whole process.

Today, the town's annual bean production stands at around 200,000 kg.

Huangyao has abundant tourist resources but like the local wine and tea, it takes time to appreciate the beauty of this ancient town.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】 【5】 【6】

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