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Click Photos for Large Images (Photo andSolomon's courtyard Jimei Xiamen Fujian China text provided by Toni Mueller)

Solomon's Courtyard Coffee House is the PLACE in Jimei where students, teachers and office workers can meet, share ideas, cultures and dreams in a warm, friendly environment.

A unique multi- cultured meeting place, Solomon's was envisioned by the blending of ideas of an American couple and their Chinese/Indonesian/Philippine friends. The Courtyard is actually a four-story family home transformed into a multi-functional business that yet retains a homey and inviting atmosphere.

Solomon's courtyard  is  THE PLACE for foreigners and locals to get together in Jimei, Xiamen (Fujian China)Solomon's menu has offerings not found anywhere else in Xiamen. In addition to the usual coffees, teas and fruit juices served in other coffee shops, Solomon's offers home-made baked goods created by the American part of the team. Their recipes, handed down from generations of excellent cooks, are not your standard Chinese non-sweet sweets but rather cookies, cakes and breads that have become favorites with Chinese and foreigners alike.

English Corner is Monday and Thursday nights 7:30 to 9:00 pm. LectureSolomon's Courtyard has one of Xiamen's most unique menuss are given twice a month on all kinds of subjects, from your favorite hobby or passion to improving your study habits and language skills. Business lunches or dinner can be arranged by reservation. In the future, cooking classes and live concerts, both western and Asian, will be added to the events. Really, anything is possible at Solomon's Courtyard. Solomon's courtyard has facilities for just about any kind of gathering you'd likeThe owners are flexible, fun-loving sand ready for cross-cultural adventures. How about you? Normal hours are 4-10 Monday--Friday, 4--12 on Saturday, closed on Sunday. Hours can be extended for reserved parties.

Add: No. 342 Shengguang Road (directly behind 98 Ji Yuan Road) JimeiTele: 3809770 or 3809771

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The Evolution of Chinese Cuisines (Adapted from Magic_Xiamen--Guide to Xiamen and Fujian, 2008 Edition)

Food has been Chinas avocation ever since the first mythical hero, hunter/ fisherman Fx (), invented the kitchen and cooking. At least 3,019 years before Christ, Chinese in Xns Bnp Village () feasted on steamed chicken, carp and elephant. And in 700 B.C., Chinese chefs wowed emperors with exotic bitter melon soup, and lamb stewed with sugar cane.
The Hn Dynasty (Hncho , 206 B.C.-220 A.D.) gave China flourmills, noodles and tofu, and the Tngcho Dynasty (Ƴ, 618-907 AD) saw the advent of the wok and stir-frying. But it was an overabundance of food during the Song Dynasty (Sngchoγ, 960-1279 AD) that fuelled the great explosion of culinary innovation.
Even Lowi influenced Chinese cuisine. The Manchus left behind the winter hot pot now popular throughout China, but adapted in Ximn to feature seafood instead of mutton. And chili peppers introduced through Portuguese Macao helped ignite Schuns fiery fare.
A few millennia of culinary evolution has given Chinese cuisine a diversity unimaginable for a simple American soul like myself, for whom variety is a baked potato instead of mashed, or a side of canned peas C never such common but delectable Chinese delicacies as pea plant leaves or spinach roots. But for all its infinite diversity, most Chinese food fits roughly in five (some say eight) basic schools: Bijng, Schun, Shnghi, Fjin and Gungdng (most popular abroad).
There are also hundreds of local styles. Fjin cuisine is sweeter in the south, saltier in the north, and heavy on sweet potato, rice flour noodles, taro and peanuts in the west. (Warning: never eat taro with beef. Its taro-bull).

Bijng Cuisine Tofu and wheat, rather than rice, are staples in Bijng, where vendors sell steamed breads, buns stuffed with pork and vegetables, and Chinese dumplings stuffed with garlic, cabbage, pork, onions and MSG. One popular Northern dish is Beggars Chicken (Jiohu Jл). The hallowed recipe begins, First, steal a chicken.
The famous Winter Hotpot (Hugu) helps benumbed Bijngers survive frigid winter evenings, but they feast on Bijng Duck year round.

Bijng Duck (Bijng Koy Ѽ) Diners adopt a live duck for life by painting a number on its side. But its a very short life. The hapless duck is promptly murdered, stripped to its skivvies, and sewn up tightly to hold the boiling water that ensures the roasted carcass will be succulent and savory inside. The first course is the crisp skin, basted with sweet Hoisin sauce (Minjing 潴) and served with scallions wrapped in small, thin pancakes. For the second course, the leavings are cooked and served with bean sprouts or slices of bamboo. Nothing is wasted. Even the bones are crushed and cooked with water, ginger and onion, and then boiled with cabbage and sugar to make soup.
Bijng Duck is served in many fine Ximn restaurants. Try Marco Polos 2/F Chinese restaurant (its Cantonese style Bijng Duck, but tasty!).

Schun Cuisine (Chunci ) Schuns fiery fare is a perfect antidote to the sultry summers of this remote but most populous province. Chefs combine ginger, red peppers, onions and soy sauce to create dishes that will ream a Mexican cowpokes sinuses. But not all Schun food is hot; they also serve up sweet, sour, salty, fragrant, and bitter -- in every combination possible and some that are not possible but come off anyway.
Ximns best Chunci is not in restaurants but the home of Ximn Universitys famous art professor, Tng Shoyn () He and his wife and daughters whip up the tastiest (and fieriest) food imaginable. But if you cant wangle an invite to their home, you can still get decent Chunci in most major hotel restaurants, as well as many hole-in-the-walls.

Shnghi Cuisine Ϻ In coastal Shnghi, crowds throng about vendors hawking rolls stuffed with pork and beef, and gourmands from all over Asia fly in to sample Shnghi hairy crabs, four-gill carp, and meats spiced with Shoxng wine (Shojiܾ), often arranged in beautiful floral designs on delicate china. But wheres the beef? With grazing land at a premium in this populous nation, beef is still rare, in Shnghi and elsewhere. Besides, peasants see it as poor form to reward an oxs faithful service by eating him. So the pig remains the perennial king with Chinese chefs, who use everything from offal to oink.
You have eaten Shanghai Cuisine. The foreigners perennial favorite, Sweet n Sour Pork (Tngc Ru Ǵ) is not Cantonese, as some think, but Shanghai.

Cantonese Cuisine (Gungdng Ci 㶫)
Question. Whats the difference between Cantonese zoos and restaurants?
Answer: not much

The Venetian vagabond Marco Polo wrote of his Chinese hosts, They eat all sorts of flesh, including that of dogs and other brute beasts and animals of every kind which Christians would not touch for anything in the world.
Evidently, Loni still dont touch them. A Chinese restaurateur complained of meat and potato Canadians, They dont want real Cantonese cuisine. Its always sweet n sour pork, lemon chicken, beef and green peppers, fried rice, spring rolls, and Chinese fortune cookies (which originated not in China but California).
While Lowi may prefer frozen fish sticks over fricasseed fish lips, Chinese still devour anything that wont eat them first. If they cant eat it, they call it medicine and ingest it anyway. But Cantonese take the tofu. Even other Chinese say of them, They eat anything that flies but planes, and anything with four legs but the table and chairs.
Cantonese menus include live monkey brains, sparrows, wild ducks, snails, snakes, eels, frogs, turtles, deer penis soup, and canine cuisine. (In 1990, an MBA student asked me to invest $10,000 in his scheme to export canned dog to America. I asked him if hed ever heard of market surveys).
Cantonese restaurants abound in Ximn, but some of the more popular are in Bil Zhu (along the lake) and on North Hbn L, past the Sports Arena. They are always packed to the gillsand fins and flippers as well.

Ximn Cuisine (Ximn Ci Ų) Canton, though renowned its seafood, comes nowhere close to Ximn's offerings. Off magical Amoys contorted coastline, if it swims, crawls, wiggles, or squirms, some enterprising soul will wrest it from the sea and serve it up with Mnnn rice noodles, taro dishes and five-spice meat rolls, salty and peppery roast chicken, abalone, duck webs with glutinous rice, scented pork kidney, stuffed cucumbers, braised frogs, shark, crab, mussels and oysters (stir-fried with eggs), sea urchins, mineral-rich seaweed, and sea cucumber. And of course theres Ximns #1 specialty C boiled seaworm embedded in cold jellyfish (Tsndng).
For authentic Ximn cuisine (a cross between Cantonese and Fzhu styles, with a little Tiwn thrown in), try the Ximn Guesthouse, near Zhngshn Park, or the Overseas Chinese Hotel, near the Cultural Palace.
But some of it is still too froggy for my taste


DAILY LINKS
Frequently Asked Questions about Xiamen andFujianFAQs Questions?
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EDUCATION
Xiamen University GuideXiamen University
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Study Mandarin Chinese or Minnan Dialect at Xiamen University  or with private tutorStudy Mandarin
 
China Studies Program Xiamen University  Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Washington D.C. Jay LundeliusCSP(China Studies)
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DINING
Xiamen restaurants dining western and Chinese cuisineRestaurants Xiamen Asian restaurants -- Singapore Thailand Thai Malaysian  Japanese Korean PhilippineAsian
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Hakka Earthen architecture Massage!
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