As foreign businesses prepare to present their goods and services to the Chinese market at the upcoming China International Import Expo (CIIE), the expo staff in Shanghai are busy preparing something special to cater to the visitors: traditional Chinese snacks.
The CIIE, which is to be held on Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, is the first ever Chinese fair focusing exclusively on imported goods and services. More than 2,800 companies from over 130 countries and regions have confirmed participation in the event.
Data from a questionnaire released by Ctrip.com showed that "Will I have the opportunity to eat traditional Chinese food?" was the third most popular question after accommodation and transportation needs among the international CIIE participants.
Shanghai juicy meat dumplings, along with seasonal hairy crabs and pork braised in brown sauce are among the most sought-after snacks, according to Ctrip.
To give the exhibitors a bite of China, the Shanghai Specialty Snack Restaurant has opened in the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai), where the expo will take place.
More than 20 famous Shanghainese snack brands will set up booths in this 2,200-square-meter restaurant.
There will be all kinds of Shanghainese snacks on sale, including steamed and pan-fried buns, soup dumplings, sticky rice cakes, butterfly cookies, and desserts. A total of 20,000 packs of snacks will be offered daily during the expo.
Along with traditional food, the aisles in the restaurant are decorated as old roads and lanes with old telephone boxes and the booths as old Shanghainese buildings, to make the guests feel "immersed" in Shanghai's cuisine culture.
In addition to the Shanghai Specialty Snack Restaurant, there will be more than 100 restaurants in the convention center, offering all types of cuisine such as traditional Chinese, Western, Muslim and vegetarian.
"There are two testing rooms, in and outside the venue, to monitor and ensure food safety," said Zhang Huaimin, with the Shanghai Municipal Food And Drug Administration.
Shanghai is gearing up to accommodate over 300,000 visitors during the expo.