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Xiao Long Bao in the steamer

Xiao Long Bao in the steamer

Little Dragon Dumplings. More like a little gift from heaven, these things: pork and some soup stock which is chilled until it gets to a kind of jelly consistency, and then wrapped into a dumpling.
When it's heated, the soup stock obviously gets liquified, and a taste explosion ensues. Just make sure you work out how hot that stuff inside really is, though: my first Xiao Long burned the hell out of my mouth, and eveyone at the table was watching my reaction to eating this Chinese delicacy, so there was no unobtrusive way for me to help myself out of the fire.
I just said my eyes were watering because of the deliciousness. Not sure they believed me, though.
This shot was taken near Tian Dzhe Fun in Shanghai, of a street Xiao Long Bao seller's stall. I was excited at the find, bought 3 of them, took a bite, and found to my surprise that there was fish in them. Or crab. Or something vaguely piscine.
And to have that taste hit you when you're expecting pork isn't a happy sensation.
I like the shot, though. Looks better than it tastes, that's for sure.
This shot hit #61 on Flickr's Explore page on the 18th of May 2009. Nice one, guys, thanks a lot for your support.

Zhezhiang fairytale

Shanghai (499 of 712)-2
Walking through the narrow lanes that make up Zhezhiang, you get to see alot of traditional crafts being put on for the tourists. Most make you feel like you're wandering through a kind of low-budget Disneyland, and the crafts are totally put on show for you. But one area had people who were spinning silk from silkworm cocoons the traditional way, and making shoes, clothes and quilts out of it.
The stuff they were making was pretty high quality, and the methid employed were certainly unmechanized. But the most striking thing about the scene was the atmosphere: felt like I had slipped down the rabbit hole and ended up in a fairy tale, something like Sleeping Beauty or Rumpelstiltzkin.
The work of a few seconds to lift out my Nikon D300 and grab a few frames. I'm not even sure they knew I was there.