Grand Canal Taking You Home
The series of Grand Canal Taking You Home releases four videos, in which Nino, an Italian chef who has been living in China for many years, takes the opportunity to assist Chen, the editor of Gourmet, in writing a feature story on “The Taste of Home”. They visit Chen’s family from north to south along the canal to discover the taste of home and experience different flavors along the canal. Nino finally understands that even though there are differences between the East and the West that are thousands of miles apart, home is still the belief and connection of every traveler, and China has long become his another home. The series tells the story of two Chinese and Western travelers (Chen and Nino) visiting their families and exploring delicious food, presenting the humanistic landscape and local customs of four different cities along the Grand Canal to the audience in a delicate and realistic way.
 
 
Taste in Taierzhuang  
For the first stop on their canal tour, Nino and Chen came to the ancient city -Taierzhuang in Shandong Province. Taierzhuang is located at the junction of Taierzhuang District, Zaozhuang City, Shandong Province and the four provinces of Shandong, Jiangsu, Henan and Anhui. It is the center of the Grand Canal. The ancient city is called “the living ancient canal” and “the only remaining Heritage Village of the Grand Canal” by the World Tourism Organization.
Chen’s uncle, a senior Shandong Cuisine chef, works in Taierzhuang’s scenic area. Following him, Nino and Chen tasted the thick, generous but homely delicacies in southern Shandong, such as seven or eight kilograms of canal carp, crispy canal pancake cooked on stones, vegetable pancake, spicy chicken, etc. These dishes are bred and prospered by the canal. As a cook, Nino also learned the cooking skills of Shandong Cuisine from Chen’s uncle. The beautiful scenery of the city and the splendid Fire Dragon Steel Flower show make them linger on.
 

A Bite of Huai’an
On the second stop of the canal tour, Nino and Chen visited Chen’s grandparents in Huai’an, Jiangsu Province. Huai’an has a rich cultural heritage of the Grand Canal. Running through Huai’an, the Grand Canal is a veritable mother river of Huai’an.
Chen’s grandparents run a small noodle restaurant on canal bank, where eel noodles and shredded chicken wontons are old flavors that have remained the same for decades. From the vegetable market in the old street in the early morning, to the pond full of bushels of common cattail; from the soup buns in the ancient town in the low reaches of the river, to the tourist boats in Qingjiangpu, it is all about life. Both sides of the canal are abundant in fish and rice. The exuberant pyrotechnic atmosphere brings the ancient city closer to life. The gentle and kind smiles of grandparents made Nino feel the warmth of his home.

Elegant Huaiyang Cuisine
On the third stop of the canal trip, Nino and Chen went to Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province to visit Chen’s parents. Yangzhou is the canal capital and gastronomic capital of the world.
Chen’s father runs a Huaiyang cuisine restaurant by the Slender West Lake. The Huaiyang cuisine in the private cuisine restaurant is exquisite, elegant and long lasting, from the steamed pork ball, which is fluffy and fat but not greasy, to the raised shredded chicken with ham and dried tofu, which is white and soft, tender and delicious. What the daughter can’t forget is her father’s hand-made Yangzhou fried rice. The day in Yangzhou starts with morning tea, jadeite siu mai, thousand-layer oil cake etc. Dong Guan Street is crowed with visitors. The daily lifestyle of Yangzhou, cozy and leisurely.
 

Myriad of Flavors
On the fourth stop of the canal tour, Nino and Chen arrived at Hangzhou, the end of the Great Canal. The canal runs through Hangzhou, and for only 3 yuan, traveler can take a water bus to explore scenery on both sides of the canal.
Chen’s brother is a college student in Hangzhou and also a food blogger. In Hangzhou, they can taste the food that intermingles from the north and the south, and experience the modern city in the open era. The end of the Grand Canal is Hangzhou, but the journey of the canal culture heritage has no end and has been going on in an orderly way. A canal strings together the lights of thousands of families, and every miniature of them is overflowing with happiness.
On the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Nino and Chen came to Yangzhou and gathered with their family members to enjoy a family dinner by the canal where the north communicates with the south, the East meets the West. Home is the place that always makes you feel warm.

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