The story of the Chinese love for canned peaches

The story of the Chinese love for canned peaches

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With the development of the epidemic situation, various suggestions and advice began to appear on social media. Amidst all the comments, one voice stood out in particular: “It is suggested that canned yellow peaches be included in health insurance”. It comes from a Norse “superstition” that may not be well understood by others: no matter how bad the disease, it’s better to have a canned yellow peach. Northerners, especially those in the northeast, strongly believe in this ancient and mysterious “people’s ordinance”.

A few years ago, the magic effect of canned yellow peaches was widely stirred on the Internet, and it received many titles, the most famous of which was “curative magic medicine for children in the northeast or north “. The so-called miracle medicine is aptly named: From surgery to colds, patients can get back on their feet as soon as they eat a can of yellow peaches. This mysterious claim was once unfathomable to southern internet users until a large number of northern children came forward to prove it was “good medicine” when they were young. Since this phenomenon is particularly common in northeast China, a popular saying goes that there is a god of canned yellow peaches in northeast China who will silently bless every child in northeast China. China leaving home. In case of serious illness or minor disaster, you can get God’s blessing by eating a tin can. Canned yellow peach legends make it the most legendary food on the internet today.

However, there is no direct reason behind this mysterious “canned yellow peach” phenomenon, which is rather a habit of the previous generation. Canned yellow peach has been developed for decades in China. Since 1963, research on canned peach varieties has been in the national domain. After many years of cultivation, research and seed selection, it has just entered the stage of mass production. As a canned food, the peach canning industry is developing rapidly. By 1981, the annual production of yellow peach cans in domestic canneries had reached 8,000 tons. But even then, canned yellow peaches were in demand at that time. In the 1970s and 1980s, cans were “valuable food” in the North. For ordinary families, only when visiting relatives and friends, or during the Spring Festival, can they give up a can. For children from ordinary families, they can only enjoy a can of peaches during the “special period”. This “special period”, with the exception of birthdays and holidays, is when they are “sick”. When children are sick and have a fever, their appetite is usually not good. In addition, the bitter taste of the medicine makes sick children unwilling to take the medicine. At this time, parents will open cans of yellow peaches to feed sick children to help them take bitter medicine. Over time, this generation has developed the habit of giving yellow peaches to their children when they are sick.

In addition, people of the older generation also have certain superstitions about the “peach” fruit. The ancients believed that peach branches could exorcise evil spirits, and that peaches could also imply “health and longevity”. Also, in the Chinese phonetic alphabet, “peach” has the same pronunciation as “escape”. Therefore, even though they know that eating canned yellow peaches does not aid recovery, many parents will choose to feed their children canned food during and after their illness, so that they can “escape” the pain. Combined with these factors, those children who grew up eating canned peaches felt it was better to eat peaches when they were sick all their lives. Although they are no longer children looked after by their parents, their bodies have already developed conditioned reflexes. Whenever they have a cold or a fever, they always want to have a delicious yellow peach. Whether they are sick or not, they will always feel comfortable when they see a jar of yellow peaches next to them. Canned yellow peaches are not only a kind of food, but also a spiritual totem. It can symbolize “health”, “rehabilitation”, “peace of mind” and a time when parents cared for their children.

Finally, the canned yellow peach belongs in a way to the “comfort food” of a generation. “Comfort foods” is a saying that all countries have, or can be understood as, “healing foods”, which are defined as “foods that can provide nostalgia or emotional value”. In case of physical or psychological problems, “comfort foods” can relieve a person’s pressure quickly. According to different regions and food cultures, the traditional “comfort foods” of each region are different: Filipinos eat soup called arroz caldo when they are sick. Hungarians eat garlic and honey when they are sick. Pakistanis will prepare a porridge called khichdi. These comfort foods have very different tastes and it seems difficult to categorize them together, but they have one very consistent commonality: these foods were given by parents and families to their children when they were sick. These “comfort foods,” like the yellow peach cans, can connect to his childhood. Take one bite, and it’s as if you could step back to those reassuring times. The rush to buy yellow-headed cans is not really a feudal superstition, nor does it wait for its real effect. People just want to settle into this precious time.

The author is a master’s student in English linguistics at Shandong University (Weihai).

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