Since Saturday, Zhang Shuchao from Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, has been walking into Yuyuan Garden every morning at 9:30, a "camel carrying pole" on his shoulder and a pair of wooden clappers in his hands.
Loudly singing nostalgic songs, he peddles sweet porridge. Camel carrying pole, the "moving snack bar" which was omnipresent in olden days, is making a
reappearance in the city more than half a century after it disappeared.
It is named for its camel-like shape, with one side hosting the stove and pan, and the other side containing seasonings with bowls and chopsticks in the middle.
Various traditional snacks, such as wonton, taro, sweet porridge and dumpling, were made in turn as the seasons changed.
"My shoulder pole is an exact copy of an antique exhibit in the Suzhou Museum," Zhang said. Zhang is in town for the ongoing Yuyuan Garden Watertown Food Cultural Festival.
Nineteen kinds of traditional snacks, which were once very popular but can seldom be found now, are being served at the show, which kicked off over the weekend and will run throughout the month.
Besides porridge, visitors can also taste the small wonton and the jellied bean curd from Xitang (Zhejiang), the thousand-layered cake from Xikou (Zhejiang), the fried dumpling seasoned with sweet-scented osmanthus from Yangzhou (Zhejiang), and cakes with crab apple, plum blossom and orange flavors from Jinxi (Jiangsu).