Hongshan Flowering Chinese Cabbage

出自 027
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Hongshan Flowering Chinese Cabbage

Hongshan Flowering Chinese Cabbage.jpg

Red flowering Chinese cabbage and Wuchang fish are deemed as the two major dishes in Hubei, which were tributes in the feudal age and were highly praised in Zhuzhici (an ancient book recording the stories about Wuhan) in Qing Danasty, 「Rice wine and tangyuan are delicious night snacks, while fat bream and flowering Chinese cabbage are great delicacies.」 Flowering Chinese cabbage with preserved pork (or sausage) is a delicacy both on table to entertain guests in Wuhan in winter and spring.

Hongshan flowering Chinese cabbage, locally named red flowering Chinese cabbage and also named 「Yun flowering Chinese cabbage」, is a kind of Wuhan specialty mauve in color with golden flowers. According to historic documentation, red flowering Chinese cabbage was a famous vegetable in Tang Dynasty, and was a local specialty for Hubei to pay in tribute to emperors through all ages, which was called as a 「valuable dish in palace」 and gain the same status with Wuchang fish. It contains rich nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene and ascorbic acid as well as more vitamin B than Chinese cabbage and green Chinese cabbage. And with bright color and tender & crisp taste, it is a delicacy served in any meal. The best Hongshan flowering Chinese cabbage is produced in the areas of Zhuodaoquan near Baotong Buddhist Temple in Hongshan. It will have a different color and taste if transferred to other regions. In earlier Guangxu Period of Qing Dynasty, Li Hanzhang, the governor-general of Hu-Guang (Hunan, Hubei, Gudangdong and Guangxi) who was born in Hefei, Anhui, favored red flowering Chinese cabbage and introduced it to his hometown, but failed. He believed there was something wrong with the soil. So he shipped the soil of vegetable garden in Hongshan to Hefei for planting of red flowering Chinese cabbage, only to leave a standing joke of scraping Hubei land.

As the story goes, the most genuine red flowering Chinese cabbage produced in the areas of Hongshan, Wuchang where bell from Baotong Buddhism Temple can be heard, and it will get light in color and worse in taste beyond the areas, thus getting another name of Hongshan flowering Chinese cabbage. In order to provide people with more tender delicious red flowering Chinese cabbage in a longer season, vegetable growers in suburb of Wuhan cooperated with experts and professors from Huazhong Agricultural University to study the habits and characteristics of the red flowering Chinese cabbage, develop new breeds, and extend planted areas without losing its flavor, which has led to a great success eventually. And it is said that red flowering Chinese cabbage originating in Wuhan has been introduced to Japan, and they made a joke that the bell from Baotong Buddhism Temple flies with wings.