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Beijing wants to have a bite of heritage list

By Zheng Xin (China Daily)

08:04, May 07, 2013

Wandouhuang, pea flour cake (China Daily)

Bidding for the national status aims to prevent traditions from disappearing

The Chinese capital is trying to get its traditional snacks recognized as intangible cultural heritage items.

Beijing has filed an application asking authorities to list more than 100 of its traditional snacks as national "relics".

The move aims to prevent centuries-old culinary traditions from dying out and to ensure better overall food value for consumers, according to Beijing's commerce commission.

If successful, it would mean that dishes such as aiwowo (sticky rice with a sweet filling), douzhi (mung bean milk) and doufunao (bean curd stew) will be enjoyed by future generations.

The application, made by the commission and the Beijing Traditional Brands Association, has been submitted to the central government's cultural heritage body.

In addition to the application, the city is also considering carrying out a survey of traditional snacks to rank the top small bites.

According to Wang Zuoji, deputy director of the Beijing Folklore Committee and a member of the capital's non-tangible cultural heritage committee, the application may stop traditional food from disappearing.

"Cuisine is all about culture and tradition, and the snacks are the living fossils of the city," he said.

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