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Tong Zi Cucumber

Tong Zi Cucumber

Wu Gongyu, located at the western end of Zhouzhuang Town, is a pickled vegetables workshop founded during the reign of Emperor Xianfeng of the Qing Dynasty. The owner of the workshop came from Huizhou, Anhui Province.

Soon after the business was opened, the workshop immediately became popular throughout the neighborhood for its delicious Tong Zi Pickles. The dish won a gold medal at the Panama International Food Expo.

When summer arrives, the workshop sends its staff to buy cucumbers in neighboring areas. The cucumbers must be well-proportioned, one finger thick, two inches long, and seedless. Since the workshop offers comparatively high prices, vegetable farmers are eager to plant such cucumbers.

The processing rooms are in the backyard of the shop, where cleaned cucumbers are spread out on mats to dry up. Afterwards, they are placed in big jars for pickling with one third less salt than traditional pickles. They need to be turned over at regular intervals to make the salt spread even.

Wheat powder is kneaded into dumplings and cut into small pieces about half an inch in size. Dry them up in the sun until mildew comes out on the surface. When everything is ready, put them in earthen jars, with one layer of cucumbers upon another layer of Huang Zi, and then seal the jars.

The pickles from Wu Gong Yu contain no sugar, but still taste sweet.