Nanxiang
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Nanxiang: Home of xiaolongbao
With Shanghai’s sprawling metro system, this suburb is now a few short stops from downtown. Why would you want to make the trek out to Nanxiang? Well, among other reasons, it’s the home of xiaolongbao…those marvelous little soup filled pockets of goodness. Go for the dumplings, but stay and check out the quaint little village, their local museum (which is new and quite well done) as well as the gardens. The town makes a welcome respite from the bustle of the city and if you’re coming to China to eat some “authentic” cuisine, it doesn’t get more authentic than going straight to the source of China's infamous dumpling. How to get there: take Line 11 to Nanxiang and then walk down Huyi Gong Lu for approx 10 minutes (or jump in a taxi) and head towards Guyi Garden.
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Xiaolongbao Soup Dumplings, a Taste of Shanghai
A mere two hours after we touched down in Shanghai, 13 hours after leaving Paris, our host had us on the move. "You'll be wrecked if you lay about the house. And you must be ravenous, no?". He was right. I spent the greater part of our flight over dreaming of billowy dumplings, salivating at the thought of Xiaolongbao, Shanghai's own steamed buns- thick and soup-filled. After a long, harried wait I got my first taste of Shanghai's delights at Nanxiang in the heart of tourist-swollen YuYuen Gardens. The commotion from the harried wait staff, clangorous dining room and joyous locals only served to heighten the moment. My tastebuds came alive from the very first, steaming bite of Xiaolongbao. I thanked our host profusefly for bringing us to the restaurant, despite the daunting throngs of people and our cloying fatigue, because it was then that I realized I was embarking on an unforgettable, edible adventure. {The nomenclature around Xiaolongbao is widely disputed - are they buns? Dumplings? What's the difference? The article below dives into their history and stirs the debate around culinary authenticity}.
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