Guangxi sour stuff snack

How “Sour Stuff” Helps Guangxi Locals Beat the Summer Heat

Guangxi’s pickled “sour stuff (酸野)” is the perfect summer snack that comes in almost any flavor

“A hero cannot resist a beauty, but a beauty cannot resist a suanye stand,” goes a popular saying in southwestern China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Suanye (酸野) refers to a variety of pickled fruits and vegetables—quintessential Guangxi snacks that provide refreshment in the steamy summers in the region.

Suanye is a term from the Guangxi Nanning dialect, where suan has the same meaning as in standard mandarin (“sour”), and ye simply refers to “things.” In this subtropical part of the country, this “sour stuff” is a refreshing and cleansing snack. The streets are full of people clutching bowls of the sour treats and a bamboo pick for skewering the juicy pieces.

Vendor selling pickled ”sour stuff”

Vendors sell suanye to hungry customers on the roadside (screenshot from Haokan Video)

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author Wang Lin (王琳)

Wang Lin is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese who aspires to tell fresh stories about life, arts and culture in China—no prejudice, no clichés. Her writing has appeared on Nikkei Asia, the South China Morning Post, RADII, and elsewhere. She was born in Ningbo, a bustling port known for its dumplings and seafood.

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