The Chinese food culture includes very luxurious and nutritious health foods. They are sold in specialized stores. While in China, my dad and I went to both Chinese and Western medical facilities for a personal illness. The western doctor had prescribed three types of western medicine and also advised me to eat more food that nourishes the blood. In TCM principle, foods that vigorates the blood are good for woman, as the majority of women belong to the “blood-deficient” type.
Many may have heard of ginseng, swallow’s nest and lingzhi. Yet there are many more exotic and luxurious foods than these three musketeers. They are white fungus, tianqi (ç”°ä¸ƒï¼‰, Cordyceps sinensis (å†¬è™«å¤è‰), and Hasma ï¼ˆé›ªè›¤).
When my dad and I toured Jiuzhai Valley at an elevation of 3,000 meters, we were advised to drink a concoction called “Red View Sky”, which is a mixture of Lingzhi and other Chinese herbs. Drinking this herbal supplement is supposedly said to improve your adaptability to the increasing elevation. The higher up we travel, the lesser amount of oxygen available.
The luxurious foods are categorized based on their functions. Shark’s fin, abalone, shark’s fin and white fungus (“cloud ears”) are most well known and readily available in high-class restaurants. Hasma is lesser known, but very popular among young maidens.
Chinese women put huge emphasis on porcelian white skin with bright red undertone, because this signifies both beauty and health. To promote the maturity of young maidens, papaya with hasma is widely made for daughters hitting their puberty or used as medication for women who need nourishment. Why is hasma, the fatty tissues near the fallopian tube of Asian true frogs, considered a treasure? Hasma contains high levels of natural estrogen that stimulates reproductive health.