Chinese connoisseur promotes Linyi's traditional peanut snack

(| Updated : 2019-01-16

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Ma Weidu, a famous Chinese connoisseur and founder of the Guanfu Museum, promoted huashengshen, a traditional peanut snack of Shandong's Linyi city on Sina Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, on Jan 8.

"Spring Festival is coming soon. At this time a year ago, Zhao Jixiao, a farmer from Shandong's Linyi city, wrote a letter to me. He expressed his desire to escape poverty. I uploaded his letter, hoping to help him. When a friend of mine learned about this, he went to Linyi many times over a whole year, specifically turning the traditional snack huashengshen of Yimeng Mountain area into a modern product that is convenient to sell. I hope to help peasants in the area find a way to become prosperous," Ma posted on his Weibo account.

Huashengshen is made with ancient methods in which peanuts are crushed and then fried. In the years of scarcity, it was a rare delicacy for children.

"You can mix it with sugar and pepper noodles, or you can eat it directly," Zhao said.

Zhao still remembers a scene when he was a child. One year when Spring Festival was approaching, his neighbor made available a few bowls of huashengshen. His mouth watered when he saw neighborhood children eating it.

The memory gave him the idea of promoting huashengshen to bring a better life to himself and his villagers. After coming up with the idea, Zhao couldn't figure out how to carry it out, and was always worried whether the snack would be accepted by the public.

"Now there are thousands of varieties of snacks. Your eyes are dazzled when walking around in the supermarket. I didn't know if anyone would like the rustic huashengshen," he said.

In 2014, he saw Ma's show on TV by chance and was attracted by his fun and erudition. From that year on, he became a die-hard fan of Ma.

Thus it was natural that in 2015, when he had the idea of promoting huashengshen, the first "spokesman" he came up with was Ma.

The idea of writing a letter to Ma to ask him to promote huashengshen was kept in his heart for nearly three years. In the three years, he only mentioned it to his wife. She thought he was whimsical and there will be no results at all.

On Feb 7, 2018, Zhao made dozens of huashengshen. On that day, he finally made up his mind to write to Ma.

On the morning of Feb 11, Zhao received a call from Beijing.


Ma Weidu, antique collector and dealer. [Photo/]    


Zhao Jixiao, a farmer from Shandong's Linyi city, displays huashengshen, a traditional peanut snack of Linyi. [Photo/Weibo account of Ma Weidu]

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