As the saying goes “The unique features of a local environment always give special characteristics to its inhabitants”, it is natural for us to find different catering cultures in different parts of China.
Nowadays, Tanmo is one popular treat for guests in Zaobei area.
Yet, in hard times, Tanmo was something exclusively reserved for women in recovery duration after childbirth or highly distinguished guests since it was highly oil and time consuming in making.
Since frying pan was absent in rural area, huge iron pan – the cooking utensil indispensible in every rural household – would be used over traditional wood-fueled oven for Tanmo making. To make ideal paste, salt should be put into flour before mixing it with moderate amount of cold water, minced seasonings like Chinese parsley, Chinese chives, fresh ginger, green Chinese onion, and, if possible, luxurious supplement of egg liquid.
Oil will be put into pan when pan became hot and be spread over the pan with iron shovel. Scoop up more than half scoop of batter, and quickly pour the batter down around the pan edge to have it slowly slide towards pan bottom. Quick enough, a round pancake would take shape over the pan. In seconds, the pancake edge would turn up. Pinch the erected pancake edge and turn the pancake upside down. Drip oil, turn fire up, and press the pancake against the pan back and forth for several times with a brush made of sorghum twig ends. Then, a perfect Tanmo is done!
Guobaliu, the variant made out from Tanmo, was another delicacy specially reserved for women in recovery duration after childbirth. Guobaliu, which was made by cutting Tanmo into diamond-shaped wide strips and boiling it in water before mixing it with bone soup and seasonings, was easy for digestion, rich in nutrition and delicious in taste. The delicacy originally invented for new babies and their moms only in hard times are now omnipresent in restaurants across Zaoyang City. Nowadays, to treat guests with Guobaliu is one special way for Zaoyang people to showcase their hospitality and sincerity.