Famous local produce to look out for

By Xing Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-03 07:48

Silk quilts

The city of Tongxiang has since ancient times been famous for its silk.

Every spring, locals organize a grand fair called Ga Can Hua to pray for a good silk harvest.

Besides selling a variety of silk products, the Yi Da Silk Workshop in Wuzhen also has a space where craftsmen work on traditional silk reeling machines as well as a small unit where old women prepare quilts.

According to Shen Jianzhong, the manager of a silk quilt factory in Tongxiang, silk is one of the city's most successful local produce. The factory sells about 30 million yuan ($4.54 million) worth of silk every year.

Depending on the weight, the price for a silk quilt ranges from 500 yuan to over 1,000 yuan. Shen said that silk quilts that weight around 3 kilograms are perfect for spring and autumn, while those weighing around 5 kilogram would be more ideal for winter.


With a stunning window display featuring a large pair of chopsticks bearing a dragon and a phoenix, Wuzhen's chopstick shop is hard to miss.

The shop, which underwent renovations last year to expand its space from 50 to 150 square meters, has been a tourist hotspot ever since the visit by President Xi Jinping and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during the World Internet Conference in 2015.

Inside the shop, one will find around 1,000 different kinds of chopsticks made of bamboo, wood, and metal alloys, with prices ranging from a modest 10 yuan for a simple creation to thousands of yuan for an exquisite set.

One of the best-sellers is the pair with the Chinese characters Da Da Kuai, an indirect reference to President Xi because of his nickname Xi Da Da.

In Chinese culture, good things often come in pairs. Gifting a pair of chopsticks to someone is hence deemed as an auspicious blessing.

White chrysanthemum

There are many different kinds of chrysanthemum in China, and Tongxiang has for the past 300 years been one of the biggest producers of the white variety, called Hang Bai Ju in Chinese.

Back in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), most of the white chrysanthemum in the country was sold in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province, which explains how it got the Hang prefix.

Every year, factories in Tongxiang produce around 4,000 metric tons of white chrysanthemum tea that are then sold across the country.

White chrysanthemum is known for its detoxification effects and drinking white chrysanthemum tea is believed to be beneficial for the liver and eyes.

Chen Chunfa, who founded a white chrysanthemum tea factory in 1985, said that the best white chrysanthemums are those with larger buds and more leaves, and are harvested before the flower fully blossoms.

 Famous local produce to look out for

Tongxiang has for the past 300 years been one of the biggest producers of the white chrysanthemum, called Hang Bai Ju. Photos by Gao Erqiang / China Daily

 Famous local produce to look out for

From left: Wuzhen's Chexi Chopstick Shop is famous for its chopstick varieties; craftsmen make silk quilts at a factory in Tongxiang, Zhejiang province.

(China Daily 12/03/2017 page10)

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