A bite of Xinjiang culture in time-honored naan
Naan is a delicious local food in northwest China’s Xinjiang. Named in ancient Persian, naan is a kind of bread with a history of more than 2,000 years.
As early as the Han Dynasty (B.C. 202 - A.D. 8) when the Silk Road was chartered, the business travelers would carry naan bread as food, which would not go stale for months.
Nowadays, a small piece of naan is not only the staple food to fill the stomach, but also the soul of Xinjiang’s food culture.
【Gong Haorong, food lover and developer】
It’s said that in Xinjiang, one can spend one day without meat, but cannot endure a day without eating naan. As a household food, naan has a wide range of variety depending on different ethnic groups. For example, this is called corn naan. A bowl of milk tea and a piece of naan bread is a very classic food combination. Naan is easy to preserve and carry, and it is also the signature staple food for Xinjiang people to entertain guests.
Xinjiang people cherish naan very much, and they enjoy it in a sophisticated manner. They usually break naan into several small pieces and soak them in broth and milk tea before eating. Breaking naan into pieces is an important part of naan culture in Xinjiang as they believe naan should be shared with others and its round shape stands for solidarity and good will.
With a history of more than 2,000 years, naan has been inherited and innovated by Xinjiang people. A 7.1-meter-diameter naan stands in the Naan Industrial Park in Urumqi, capital city of Xinjiang, becoming a new landmark of Xinjiang tourism. Official data showed that Xinjiang is now home to over 300 varieties of naan. The making of naan has evolved from the traditional pit baking to modern machinery production. Its taste varies in line with personalized ingredients. For example, the naan tastes salty and spicy when added with pepper.
Naan-making masters integrate modern elements with traditional naan-making such as writing and painting on the bread to develop unique products. These innovative naan products are eye-catching in domestic and international major exhibitions, allowing Xinjiang naan to share its charm over the border.
The time-honored naan, full of Xinjiang local culture, is rolling on the global stage thanks to its unique ethnic features.
監 制：戴 凡
編 導：劉璟 吳婧 白玥 孫磊 高志偉 佟明月