In January I made my second trip up to Qingdao in China’s Shandong province. It was a short trip but we packed in plenty of good food! Over the course of the week, our gracious hosts took us to a variety of restaurants around the city, ordering up plate upon plate of local dishes. I had amazing tofu, lots of delicious seafood and zingy, garlicky vegetable dishes. I have to admit though, I did miss having a glass of wine with dinner. I gave the local beer (Tsingtao Beer) a go which was great, but I’m not really a beer girl, so our hosts ordered a variety of juices for us to share. They were all served warm, which was a bit of a revelation for me (I have microwaved the odd glass of orange juice since returning!). Of all the flavours, the walnut ‘juice’ was the hot favourite.
Think of this as a sweet, nutty, slightly textural smoothie. Served warm as autumn starts to bring a crisp tinge to the evening air, this is hearty, nourishing and well, to a Western palate a little odd (in a good way!). You can sieve the drink if you don’t fancy having ‘bits’ in it, but we really enjoyed the texture of un-sieved drink.