Fengjing 枫泾 is a small canal town on the outskirts of the Shanghai metropolis.
It lies just on the border with Zhejiang province. It is actually easier to get here from some places in Zhejiang than from central Shanghai. I reached it from a dusty town called Jiashan 嘉善, just 18 km away. After spending several hours here, I continued to Shanghai.
Look at the map of China and imagine a triangle between Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. This region is famous for water towns, of which there are dozens. Some are more famous and touristy than others. In case you are looking for a more tranquil canal town to visit, consider Fengjing.
The town is several hundred years old and is known for stone bridges and local style of folk art. There’s a place called “Peasants’ Painting Village” somewhere nearby the old town, but I did not go there. I focused on the food, obviously. There are several local delicacies here to try, including dried tofu and Ding’s pork knuckles. Local huangjiu (yellow wine/liquor) was another thing that draw my attention.
The weather was not good, but I would not complain over such wonderful dainties with a picturesque canal as a backdrop!
I liked the firm texture of the aromatic Fengjing Dried Tofu 枫泾豆腐干.
Ding’s Pork Knuckles 丁蹄 are trotters from a pig of local breed, prepared with soy sauce, local rice wine and sugar, plus a bunch of special spices. It was first produced by Ding family in mid-nineteenth century. There are many places to buy it in the town and there is even a small museum, “Ding’s Pork Hock Workshop” (丁蹄作坊). On the ground floor there are dummies in period clothing, recreating scenes from the life of the butchery. The upper floor part has several boards with information about the delicacy and its history. These are in Chinese only.
The local swine breed, Fengjing Pig 枫泾猪, is immortalized in the museum as well:
The basic difference between baijiu (white liquor) and huangjiu (yellow liquor) is that baijiu is distilled and of much stronger alcohol volume. The yellow wine of Fengjing, 枫泾黄酒, is not as esteemed as the one from Shaoxing, but it still receives some recognition. I saw quite many liquor-selling shops around the town.
A big liquor factory called Jinfeng 金枫 operates in Fengjing town since 1939. Sadly, I did not visit their onsite museum. That means that I will set my foot in this town again in the future. I will. Definitely. Mark my words. In case you are looking for it, the exhibition space is called 酒事馆 and is located in the 石库门酒厂 factory building. On maps, look for the latter name.
Behold! A new rising star of dog’s fashion hails from Fengjing town in Shanghai! Casual wear.