A tourist digs up bamboo shoots at Sheshan National Forest Park. [Photo/WeChat ID: sheshanlvyou]
Bamboo shoots grown on Sheshan Mountain are famous for their delicate orchid fragrance and are known as Lansun, which literally translates to orchid bamboo shoot, a name granted by Emperor Kangxi (1654-1722).
Legend has it that when Emperor Kangxi first tasted bamboo shoots, he smelt an intense fragrance, which reminded him of an orchid's scent. He was amazed and immediately named it Lansun. He wrote Lansun Shan (literally orchid bamboo shoot mountain) on a plaque and gave it to Sheshan Mountain, and that is why Sheshan Mountain is also known as Lansun Mountain.
Today, Sheshan Lansun has become a popular springtime food and a top choice for people looking to taste the freshest bamboo shoots during springtime.
In the wake of spring rains, fresh bamboo shoots will spring up all over Sheshan National Forest Park, where Sheshan Mountain is located. During this time, the park will attract many people to dig up bamboo shoots and various Sheshan Lansun dishes will be offered at hotels around Sheshan Mountain.
The delicious bamboo shoot dishes at the hotels are a must-try in spring, the season when the hotels serve Lan Sun Banquet, which features dishes like stir-fried shrimp with bamboo shoots, dry fried bamboo shoots, bamboo shoot chicken soup and braised bamboo shoots.
The annual Sheshan Lansun Culture Festival will also be held at Sheshan National Forest Park every spring. It marks the best time to go for a spring outing at the park and to taste the delicious bamboo shoot dishes. The festival includes a series of activities that give visitors the chance to dig up and sample fresh bamboo shoots, enjoy bamboo dancing and learn more about bamboo crafts.
Each year during the festival, local hotels will roll out bamboo shoot-related gourmet food covering cold appetizers, hot dishes and desserts using a variety of cooking methods including braising, frying, simmering, boiling and steaming for visitors to sample.
At Tianma Mountain Garden, the festival's main venue, visitors can try their hand at digging up bamboo shoots, admire the practical and artistic bamboo handicrafts, as well as have a look at the dancing that takes place between bamboo poles laid on the ground.
During their food tour to Sheshan National Forest Park, tourists can also enjoy beautiful natural scenery. The park is a 4A-level scenic area, with the highest level in China being 5A. It is located in Songjiang district in Shanghai, and the park boasts 12 mountains stretching 13 kilometers from southwest to northwest, forming a spectacular backdrop. Sitting on the slopes of Sheshan Mountain, the park is suitable for hikers and nature lovers wanting to take a break from city life and immerse themselves in the green landscape. The forest features caves, pools, steep cliffs, temples, plants and wild birds.
Fresh bamboo shoots in Sheshan National Forest Park are a star attraction in spring. [Photo/WeChat ID: sheshanlvyou]
A variety of wonderful dishes made with fresh Sheshan bamboo shoots are common spring delicacies at Sheshan's hotels. [Photo/WeChat ID: sheshanlvyou]