I originally intended to use this picture for the Trends page on this blog. However, this advertisement is so fascinating, that I have decided to devote an entire mini-post to it.
What you see is a picture of purple sweet potato and yam pastry (the top line of the picture). Apart from the sweet potato and yam, other ingredients are milk, red sugar and honey and gelatin; the latter to get a pudding-like texture for the yam part.
More interesting, though, is the second line:
It is called: Chinese tiramisu
The makers of this picture want to stress that this dessert is so good, that it can match the most world-famous desserts. They chose for tiramisu. This makes sense. The Chinese and Italian cuisines are both known all around the globe. So, when you want to tell people that your Chinese dessert is of world standard, you find something Italian and the most popular dessert there is tiramisu.
However, the climax is in the bottom line.
You are not eating pastry, but culture
Purple sweet potato and yam pastry as a symbol of Chinese culture. Interestingly, this symbol is not really a traditional food, but a western-style formulation using Chinese ingredients.
Note that here ‘culture’ (wenhua) also refers to high-class, luxury, etc. It is as if the creators of this picture want to say: ‘we can make food as sophisticated as you can, even with our own ingredients.
This picture combines the two main ingredients of my blog: ‘chinese food ingredients’ and ‘food and culture’.
Peter Peverelli is active in and with China since 1975 and regularly travels to the remotest corners of that vast nation.