While buying ingredients for meal at a local market yesterday, I caught a glimpse of a familiar shape that instantly made my mouth watery. So, I approached the lady whose shopping basket in which three of this circle-shaped pancake sat, and asked her where she bought them. With her accurate direction, in no time, I found the vendor who sells it, wrapped a couple of my own at the cost of only 10 Yuan (less than 2 dollars), and happily went back home to savor my greatest discovery for the dinner table of the day.
My grand discovery was shortly welcomed by all the members of my household, including Marley (haha). This unique delicacy has a name: 馕 náng. It’s a kind of crusty pancake with sesame spread across it. I didn’t know of 馕 náng until I moved to Beijing and learned that this Xinjiang local food is popular all over China.
Here are some quick facts of XinJiang:
- Officially named the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region;
- Located in the northwest of China;
- Home to a number of ethnic groups, including Han, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Hui, Uyghur, Kyrgyz, Mongols, and Russians.
In my opinion, no wonder 馕 náng is likened by so many people, its slightly salty flavor is for everyone’s taste bud!
Since we moved to this new neighborhood, it’s been a long time that we had 馕 náng to go with our meal, so I received a pat on the back from everyone in my family. For someone like me who genuinely lacks interest in cooking but who shoulders the responsibility of the food committee at our home, this is an honor that I don’t receive quite often.
馕 náng is an interesting Chinese word. I would like to archive it to the Word of the Day in case you are interested in getting to know it or that you happen to learn Chinese.
Either way, let’s look at the character. It looks complicated, yes. This is a word that definitely doesn’t appear in the Chinese textbook of primary schools. Since you may not use the word 馕 náng in daily Chinese conversation unless you are trying to buy one, there is no need to cram this character into your memory of Chinese vocabulary. But if you are trying to pass HSK exam, which means you are learning Simplified Mandarin Chinese, the left part饣 of this character is something you will need to recognize.
Many Simplified Chinese characters related to food include this Chinese radical. Remembering the context to which the radical饣relates will help you understand the character. Whenever you see 饣, you would know that you are facing a setting in area of food or eating.
Alright, that’s the word for the day 馕 náng! Have you remembered it? Try to find 馕 náng and buy one to give it a try if you are visiting China. You will fall for its taste just like the rest of us too!