Chengdu, the main city nearby, is the hub of the Sichuan province. This south-western area of China is known for it's spicy dishes and the mouth-numbing Sichuan pepper.
As told by Wikipedia (cause everyone knows it the most credible source):
"It has bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers as well as the unique flavor of the Sichuan pepper... UNESCO declared Chengdu to be a city of gastronomy in 2011 in order to recognize the sophistication of its cooking."
Dumplings and fried rice. While this picture was taken in Beijing, we have seen some variations of these in Chengdu as well. The small town where we are staying serves around 6 dumplings in a bowl with spicy pepper sauce for 6-8 RMB (about $1).
This is one of the lunches that we got at NIMI. The food cooked includes a lot of pork and chicken, which usually still has the bones in it. In the bowl is rice noodles which are super slimy and take lots of concentration with chopsticks!
Okay well I actually didn't try these, but thought it was interesting to post none-the-less. This fried (whole) fish is from a food court in Shanghai.
HOT POT: this is super common in Chengdu. In the middle of the table is a bowl where the meat, vegis and dumplings cook. There are two types of sauces, a red sauce which has Sichuan peppers in it and a white sauce which isn't as spicy. You place the food in the boiling sauces then enjoy when they float. You can even create your own oil to dip it in with peanuts, garlic and herbs!
Not a super huge chip person, but they are some of the only things that remind you of home sometimes (sort of). The "yogurt flavor" kind of tasted like sour cream. The middle "chocolate and sea salt" are the common favorite! They have a sweet yet salty taste and the lime flavor kind of remind me of the salsa chips... still haven't gotten the courage to try the cucumber ones yet!
If you have been wondering what the bagels and waffles look like, guess again... above is pretty typical of what we get for breakfast every morning. I know, I know, contain your middle school excitement, we do get smiley face French fries every so often! Although I think we finally have them trained to bring us fried eggs.
I ATE FROG... well tried it at least. This restaurant is located near our hotel and is "family style" where you order dishes and put them in the center on a lazy Susan in the center of the table!
Beef and noodles; one of the "three" main staples we eat for dinner along with dumplings and hot pot. I guess the spice is growing on me and I'm getting more used to it, but the red pepper really can get to you!
Left: Steamed buns, they are at breakfast every morning but it essentially is bread which is steamed versus baked.
Top: A lunch we got at NIMI (the place where we are working) with steamed buns filled with meat, cabbage, rice and peas with pork!