Tibetan incense is most distinguished from others due to its complex process, tedious production, fine blending contrast and meticulous material selection, contributing to its status as a representative of Tibetan culture. It is made of dozens of rare herbs such as licorice, saffron, fructus cnidii and borneol, supplemented with spices; these raw materials are mixed with water and kneaded into a dough which is then squeezed, dried, wound and otherwise processed. Legend has that Tibetan incense was created by a minister of Songtsen Gampo – Thonmi Sambhota in the 7th century AD, and has a history of more than 1,300 years. Tibetan incense also has certain medicinal value: indoor burning of Tibetan incense can prevent influenza, mumps, hand-foot-mouth disease, and other illnesses. The production of Tibetan incense became part of China’s national intangible cultural heritage in 2008.
Kung Fu Grandma
Zhang Hexian, a native woman of Dongyuan Village in Zhejiang Province, and the eighth-generation successor of Zhang’s martial arts, has been practicing martial arts since childhood. Now at the age of 98, she still insists on practicing Wushu every day and is known as the “Kung Fu Grandma.” Despite a thin physique, she looks florid and is hale and hearty. Talking about her martial arts experience, this gray-haired grandmother is always full of energy. She was only four or five years old when she began daily martial arts training at the order of her father, learning the “Xiao,” “Zhang,” “Cha” movements. She remains vigorous in her old age. The grandma’s Kung Fu skills have been passed down to her youngest son. She hopes that traditional Kung Fu is carried forward and its spirit kept eternal.
Zhong Dumplings have been in existence for a hundred years and were named after the surname Zhong family who first made them. The main products include dumplings in spicy sauce and dumplings in non-spicy sauce, of which the former are more popular. The filling is from the hind legs of Sichuan pigs, stirred with ginger juice, Sichuan pepper-soaked water and salt. The soy sauce is made with Deyang mushroom soy sauce, brown sugar, white sugar and other spices, and then seasoned with chili oil (made from Muma Mountain hot pepper and colza oil) and Wenjiang minced garlic. Shaped like a crescent, Zhong dumplings are rich in garlic, and have a thin skin, tender fillings, and a salty, sweet, fresh and spicy flavor, making it a palatable delicacy. A simple bowl of dumplings satisfies both the stomach and taste buds. A major component of the daily diet, the dumplings are an outstanding representation of Chengdu’s local culture.