Young and Hungry

A Wide-Ranging Look at Beijing Street Food


Mark Furstenberg may be finding it a challenge to sell the world's best street foods to Washingtonians, but at least he wasn't hawking hand-held snacks in China during Chairman Mao's reign. Some Chinese street foods were apparently lost forever under Mao.

This fascinating segment, from Al Jazeera English, doesn't really explain why the foods were lost, but it does look at contemporary Beijing street foods, which date back centuries. That's right, centuries. One vendor says his family has been selling street food for "234 years."

But the wide-ranging segment also looks at the Chinese diet and how it has been affected by the country's massive economic growth. In short, as China has opened its borders to Western fast-food chains like McDonald's and KFC, the citizens have opened their mouths and gobbled down the American junk food. Their waist lines, like ours, are suffering from it.

...