Friday, January 11, 2013

Xi'An: Muslim Quarter

The Terracotta Warriors are easily the most popular attraction in Xi'An and the reason most tourists flock there. However, Xi'An is full of numerous others treasures which make this city a spot worth visiting.

One of those such locations is the Muslim Quarter. The Muslim Quarter is a fascinating area, made up of narrow alleys lined with exotic foods, interesting architecture, and lovely people. From the first century BC, Xi'An served as the starting point for the famous Silk Road. During this time, Xi'an attracted thousands of traders, mainly Muslim, from the West whose ancestors still live in Xi'An today.

We made our way to the Muslim Quarter just after dusk. The small alleyways burst to life with vendors peddling everything from terracotta replicas to dried fruits and local cuisine.




We had come to the market with one purpose, to try as many foods as possible. It was clear from the beginning that this would be a cumbersome task as stall after stall was full of culinary delights. We picked our way through the crowds to sample everything from fresh bread, baked before us in a tonur oven, to savory hand pulled noodles.





We quickly located our favorite treat of the night, a persimmon cake or Shi Zi Bing. The cakes are made from a persimmon dough that is stuffed with various fillings such as ground walnuts, osmanthus, or black sesame and then flattened and gently fried. The result is a sweet, syrupy treat that had our taste buds begging for more.



Our stomachs stretched to the max, we washed down our dinners with a warm cup of pear and date infused tea. 


If you find yourself in Xi'An, most likely to see the Terracotta Warriors, make sure to stop by the Muslim Quarter to nosh on some of the best street food China has to offer. Just make sure to leave room for dessert.

1 comment:

  1. Everything looks delicious especially that red date/pear drink. (which is one of my favorite drinks!)


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