Unveiling secret of Linhai's bestselling seaweed pancakes

ezhejiang.gov.cn | Updated: 2023-08-16

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Tourists wait to buy seaweed pancakes in Linhai. [Photo/Zhejiang Daily]

During summer break, the Ancient City of Taizhou, a scenic area in Linhai, has experienced a surge in tourists, many of whom carry bags of seaweed pancakes.

A rough estimate suggests that around 100,000 seaweed pancakes are sold in the Ancient City of Taizhou.

Crafting these delicacies isn't intricate. Basic ingredients include sweet flour, oily dough, seaweed powder, and winter melon sugar. However, popular shops like Jiu Jiu and Wang Tian Shun sell thousands daily, while newcomers Chang Shun You and Lu Ju He reach sales of 5,000 per day.

"In just 20 minutes, we need to prepare flour, while the oily dough is made every hour. After noon, we're mostly in the room crafting seaweed filling, dough, and oily layers," says Guan Yihui, the third-generation heir of Jiu Jiu Seaweed Pancakes, as he tinkers with the recipe in a space less than 2 square meters. "Only my dad and I know this recipe."

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Seaweed pancakes. [Photo/Zhejiang Daily]

At 38, Guan has steered the seaweed pancake business for nearly a decade, embodying the spirit of a craftsman - focused and steadfast.

"We've received offers from many places to open stores without paying rent, but I'm concerned that new stores might ruin the reputation built by generations of care," says Guan. Watching his store go from being a small little-known shop to today's immense popularity, he feels a sense of pride.

Today, seaweed pancakes have become a signature local souvenir, holding a place in official gourmet recommendation lists. Numerous local hotels and lodgings offer the pancakes as gifts to arriving guests.