The popularity in the overseas market of Biang Biang noodles, a regional food indigenous to China’s northwestern province of Shaanxi, shows how Chinese cuisine is carving out a market for dishes representative of wider range of Chinese food culture, the BBC reported.
Biang Biang noodles, made with thick, broad, hand-pulled noodles and chili, bear a name that cannot be normally typed in Chinese, as the onomatopoeic character “biang” doesn’t officially exists.
This, however, has not hindered it from gaining popularity in other parts of the world, according to the BBC report in April, as the food begets a New York City restaurant chain “Xi’an Famous Foods.”
The owner of the eight-restaurant empire Jason Wang told the BBC that his restaurants have over the years not only attracted fellow immigrants from northwestern China, but also more and more diverse patrons.
“The food is not just for people who know it. It’s for people who want to know it and want to try it,” he said.
While global eaters are more familiar with Cantonese and Shanghai-style dishes like dim sum or braised pork belly, diverse Chinese regional foods like Biang Biang noodles are increasingly gaining traction.
This is the result of increased tourism and an expanding Chinese diaspora before the pandemic, said the report.
Travelers enjoy certain dishes in China and wish to experience them in their home countries and Chinese students and immigrants move abroad and search for the flavors of their hometown, Wang said, explaining the popularity of Chinese regional foods, according to the BBC.
This made possible a growing awareness about the multifarious regional differences in Chinese cuisine, it added.