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Going to Shanghai, Wenzhou & Yenchang... [moved from Manhatan]

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I went a few years ago on business and am returning, starting in shanghai and going to some industrial towns within 200 miles. We mostly eat at very nice restaurants and the food ranges from delicious to mysterious and scary, I try everything but don't always know what it is.

My question is... what are the little clear jelly cubes with the brown squiggles inside? The gelatin is fish based i think, but the brown squiggles are a mystery. Maybe just a by product of the gelatin itself? Last time I went I asked one of our hosts who spoke better english what they were, she was from a different region and informed me she didn't know and didn't particularly like them. I felt much better about ignoring them from that point on. I am looking forward to the crab and seafood dishes we'll eat but hope I can get a bit more of the common people's dishes. I had some of the factory provided noodle soups and it was absolutely delicious. Simple, familiar and easy on the stomach. Any reccomendations would be great.

12 days in a smaller city I find myself just begging for something simple and familiar. The business lunches are so lavish and huge, some simple rice or noodle soups are all I want and I think our host's don't think them impressive enough to provide such fair.

I will try to take pictures and provide a better description upon my return. Maybe even some names and ingredients! It's a tiring trip and gleaming such details via a translator end up taking a back seat after a long day of traveling touring foundries, steel mills and factory tours.

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