Well, at least from a culinary stand-point. Shanghai cooking uses the more sugar than any of China's 33 different sheng, or provinces. This translates to a large number of sweet and savory snacks to be found throughout the city.
Another well-known culinary tradition in Shanghai is the Shanghainese obsession with delectable dumplings.
Steamed, pan-fried, soup-filled - though many different varieties can be found around town, I'll be introducing you to my two most favorite styles of dumplings, both of which happen to be indigenous to Shanghai.
We know that interns get hungry, so here you go - eat your heart out!
Xiao Long Bao (小笼包) - Tender, Soup-Filled Flavor Explosion
The first time I tried Xiao Long Bao, it changed my life. I had no idea it was even possible to cram so much deliciousness into such a small, delicate package.
Traditional pork or pork and shrimp filling is the way to go. If you are in Shanghai and feeling a bit more adventurous, try the specialty Shanghai Hairy Crab filling.
Though Xiao Long Bao can be found street-side, I recommend sampling them at the internationally renowned Din Tai Fung.
Click here for more information on Din Tai Fung.
Click here to see all of Din Tai Fung's locations.
Sheng Jian Bao (生煎包) - Bottom Fried Breakfast Bites
Though I have been known to enjoy Sheng Jian Bao at all hours of the day, these sesame seed and green onion sprinkled dumplings are typically eaten during breakfast time.
The bottom is fried, the top is steamed, and the entire dumpling is quintessential Shanghai. You can find Shanghainese all-over the city slurping soup out of these steaming hot doughy mounds of joy.
Look for the chefs standing over giant cast-iron black pans with wooden lids - approach, order, and enjoy!
The most famous Sheng Jian joint in Shanghai is called Xiao Yang Sheng Jian. Find the listing below:
Xiao Yang Sheng Jian (小杨生煎), 2/F, 269 Wujiang Lu, near Taixing Lu吴江路269号2楼, 近泰兴路; +86 21 61361391; open daily 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
One last word of warning...
Be extremely cautious when first biting into these soup-filled darlings. These dumplings fall into the category of "food that fights back," with their scalding hot soup defense mechanism. Enjoy responsibly.
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Article By: Scott Singerman
Click here to see CNNGo's Ultimate Guide To Chinese Dumplings!