Lian Local Delicacy: Mei Soup
The young girl’s excited voice broke through the chorus of the forested cove’s creatures singing in harmony. The echo of her voice inspiring the koi fish in the pond to dance around the feet of the pair.
“Oh my.. You found a beautiful one, and in his favorite color as well.”
The elder woman said, praising the find of her young granddaughter. As she lowered herself to the water’s surface, the bright glow of the reddish-pink flowers glistened around her. The plant’s darkened green stem just barely stuck its neck out from the shallow pond. It’s beautiful blossoming flowers seemingly in search of admiration. As the elderly woman plucked the plant gently from the waterbed, the young girl began her search for more, wading through the water which begun to creep up on her legs.
“No need Shi, one flower is plenty enough for our broth.. Too many will sour the recipe.”
As the young girl studied the captured flower in her grandmother’s palm, she pondered the idea of tasting it now so she could be sure it’d taste good for her papa. The idea was quelled by her grandmother, who suggested the unfiltered taste of the flower would be bitterly sour and not considered edible for anyone.
“We must soak the flower in boiling water Shi, the broth from which shall be used in our upcoming family ceremony. Remember the last time I made you mei soup?”
The memory of the soup appeased the girl, who excitedly broke out in cheers remembering the subtly sweet yet delightfully sour broth soup. Mei soup is infamous among the mountainous people in the region, made from the flowers of the local blossoming flower plants.
“Sheep’s meat this time, right Mee Mee?! Papa loves mutton!”
The young girl’s excited remarks were answered by her grandmother with a gentle agreement, remarking that mutton would taste wonderful in the soup this year. She also added her own suggestions to their recipe, which included the addition of vegetables and rice. The two kept on their conversation as the grandmother packed away the freshly picked flower in her satchel and began their journey home to the village.