A Foodie’s Guide to the Global Leadership Program
Over Spring Break, I had the amazing opportunity to travel abroad to Shanghai and Beijing with Marshall’s Global Leadership Program. This was my first overseas experience, and it could not have been a more fun and rewarding experience—the company visits provided an insightful glance at how companies have learned to master global business through trust and transparency and I made friendships that I know extend beyond our week in China. But since I love food too much, one of the highlights of my trip was engaging in the local food scene!
I don’t think I have eaten so much Chinese food in such a short span of time, and although I returned home on our flight to LAX with a couple extra pounds, eating authentic Chinese food was completely worth it. Point is, dumplings are amazing, and steamed buns are great too, but actual authentic Shanghai dumplings are out of this world. Also for a mango lover like myself, I discovered with a couple friends this local quick-service chain called, Aunt Mango, in Shanghai that served up a sweet icy mango drink with whipped cream and freshly sliced mangos layered on top. And for those that maybe don’t have the biggest sweet tooth, I also got to try Sichuan (or Szechuan) cuisine, which pretty much means your mouth will be on fire for a solid 2 hours after eating the food, but it’s still worth it. And for the one night that I didn’t eat Chinese food, I was able to dine luxuriously at Pizza Hut in China. And when I say luxuriously I mean a four course meal entailing an appetizer, soup, pizza, and dessert all under twenty-six American dollars to sum up the best meal I’ve ever had a Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut was also a prime example of an American company that had to adapt to the Chinese culture. Because Chinese typically do not like touching their food with their hands, the chain changed from quick finger food to a sit-down dining experience.
For those non-traditional folks and adventurers, the group travelled to Wanfuxing Food Street to get a taste (pun intended) of the “crazy creepy crawlers” that make up Chinese street food in Beijing, as Professor Voigt would say. From fried scorpions, to snake, to chicken feet, this street had it all. I cringed as I watched my classmates try all of these, but I took a safer route and tried the “stinky tofu” – a popular Chinese street food. Despite the name, stinky tofu essentially smells like strong garlic and spices combined with a deep fried smell, thus it gets its “stinky tofu” name but it actually tastes amazing! This was probably one of my favorite street foods from China.