馕 Nan Bread

By greenteapanda

April 12, 2007

Category: Food and drink

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I went to one of my favourite Uygur (Xinjiang) restaurants. I love their noodles, but most of all, unlike just about any other cuisine of China, I love their bread. In English, and apparently their own language, the bread is called "nan." Same name as the flat bread from India, but not oily. It is not flexible like the Indian type, instead being more like pizza crust without any sauce or toppings. Just sesame, sesame with a very strong flavour.

I have no idea why the Chinese character is pronounced "náng," while in other languages it is "nan". Chinese also has the syllable "nan". In any case, it doesn’t sound like something particularly native to China. Even the waitresses, which write the other dishes in shorthand Chinese, note the order for Nan by writing an ‘N’ encased by a circle. Much faster than writing the 25-stroke character (30 strokes if using the traditional version, 饢.

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