How to Cool Yourself Off in Summer in Beijing?

19/05/2011
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Air-conditions cannot be with you all the time!
How to keep away from the outside heat while travelling in Beijing?

Only parasols and fans are not always helpful. Coca-Cola or ice-cream may be useful. BUT you are in Beijing! Why don’t you choose the unique traditional way to comfort yourself in the great summer?
Instead of soda and ice-cream, there are many local drinks and snakes which can make you easy in the hot weather. Sweet Mung Bean Soup, Sour Plum Juice and Pea-Flour Cake are the most favorite summer food for the locals. All of them have a long history. You can easily buy them from cold tea stands in the city.

Sweet Mung Bean Soup (or lvdoutang)sweet mung bean soup

It’s the most popular drink in China for cooling off in summer. You can easily buy it, which is always home-made without any food additives, in the small stands aside streets.

If you like it, you can also make it at home.Just take the taste of Beijing home!
 
Ingredients
1/2 cup of mung beans
6 cups of water
5 tablespoons sugar or to taste
Method
1, Soak beans overnight, or least for 4 hours, in plenty of water.
2, Place in a large pot, add water.
3, Bring to a boil, add sugar, stir, and simmer for 1 hour.
4, Let cool, then refrigerate for 1 hour, and serve.

Sour plum juice (or suanmeitang)
 Sour plum juice

Sour plum juice, another top local drink in summer, is made from smoked dark plum. It ranges from light pinkish-orange to purplish black in color and often has a smoky and slightly salty taste. It is traditionally flavored with sweet osmanthus flowers, and is enjoyed chilled.
It is often drunk chilled during the summertime, as relief from the heat, and is one of the most common summer drinks in China. In addition to being widely considered an effective drink for cooling off in the heat, it is also popularly believed to have minor health benefits, such as improving digestion and possibly inhibiting the buildup of lactic acid in the body.

Sour plum juice produced by the Xinyuanzhai brand and the Jiulongzhai brand (both own hundreds years of history), is generally acknowledged as the best in Beijing.

Pea-Flour Cake (or wandouhuang)
Pea-Flour Cake 

 

Pea-Flour Cake, which is made of white pea, is a snack people usually eat in spring. White-pea flour is first mixed with water, cooked over gentle heat and then fried with sugar. After it solidifies, it is cut into rhombohedra-shaped pieces. It has both nice look and nice taste. The best point of it is its fine and smooth texture that melt at the same time when you put it in your mouth
In summer, local people like to chill it so that it is more delicious and suit for eating in hot weather.

Tips for summer diet
In summer, indigestion can easily occur, so a light and less greasy diet is strongly recommended. Drinking more water, especially after sweating profusely, is important. You can pound the fruit of Chinese magnolia vine to extract the juice and boil it to serve as a beverage. Taking a proper amount of cold drinks or snacks, such as watermelon and mung bean soup, can supplement water, salt, and vitamins lost in hot weather.

However, never take too much cold food or fruit, for it can result in abdominal distension and indigestion.