business news in context, analysis with attitude

China already has enough trouble with concerns about the safety about the food it manufacturers. Now, it seems, there could be questions about whether it is even food…

Forbes reports this morning that a Beijing retailer specializing in selling pork buns “found a way to keep prices down and sales high.” He decided to find a substitute for the pork filling he’d been using in his delicacy, filling that was becoming more expensive and cutting into his margins.


That’s right, cardboard.

According to the story, a television crew captured the retailer’s unique recipe of a delicacy called xiaolongba:

“First, soak used cardboard with water and caustic soda, a poisonous chemical, until its color fades and its texture became tender. Then stir six cups of cardboard broth with two cups of lard or pork fat, one cup of dried soymilk sheet and one cup of leeks. Finally, stuff the cardboard mixture in a dough wrapper and steam until done.

“Tips provided by the maker: Adding lard to the cardboard makes it taste more like pork, while mixing in dried soymilk sheet make the buns chewier.”

Chinese food safety officials reportedly have closed down the man’s operation.
KC's View:
Based on recent Chinese judicial history, I have every expectation that this guy is going to be executed any day.

But when you think about it, this guy may be part of a long tradition. After all, how many times have you bitten into something and said to yourself, “This tastes like cardboard”?

Little did you know…