Anyone who is going to China – bring basil and mint. This is my advice.
Last summer we picked mint and dried it for tea. For some random reason, I decided to pack it in my suitcase when I left for China, and it was one of the best packing decisions I made! It reminded me of home when I most missed it. It was something unique I could share with my Chinese host family and it helped me to say ‘thank you’ by bringing back the feeling of home to a lovely Lithuanian girl that proved to be the best host while in Beijing.
Chinese use very different spices and herbs. The northern part of China is a ‘noodle’ China. One of my favourite ways to make pasta or noodles (I use these words interchangeably, even though I know they are not) is by adding cheese and sprinkling basil on top. While in China, I faced two issues with this recipe. First of all, they are not big on dairy – so no cheese (or at least not 3 times overpriced cheese. Butkevicius might help to eliminate this problem with the current ongoing trade negotiations about shipping Lithuanian cheese to China. But no cheese as of to date.). Secondly, there was no basil. Seriously who could have thought that Chinese would not have discovered basil when they eat all sorts of moving things already? So, if I will ever move to China again I’ll pack basil and mint.
I am currently trying to grow basil on my window sill. No success so far, but hopefully it will come out eventually:)