Beat the heat, have a treat! | Know China Learn Chinese

Anthony only wants to stay cool with air-conditioning these days! Although he really wants to explore much of Beijing, a city he has not visited before, he never knew it could be so hot in summer.

During July and August, the temperature was above 30℃ almost every day. But thanks to his Chinese colleagues, the young American found various ways to cool down.

As a tourist, the best place to visit during summer time in Beijing must be the Summer Palace, which was built in the 18th century as an imperial garden and summer resort.

It covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, and three-quarters of which is water. Tens of thousands of visitors from home and abroad come to this recreational park every day.

Like the royal family did hundreds of years ago, Anthony visited the palace to escape from the summer heat. Surrounded by the man-made lake, hill and the lotus blossoms with an ice pop and a traditional Chinese fan in hands, he finds the inner peace.

But the curious man still wonders how the Emperors cooled themselves down without frozen treats.

Chinese have various desserts and drinks to 消暑 xiāo shǔ, which means to relieve summer heat, said his colleague. For example, the sweet and sour taste of plum syrup, a traditional Chinese beverage, is refreshing in summer.

It can be made at home. Just put dark plum, hawthorn fruit, roselle, crystal sugar, liquorice plant and dried orange peel into water. Then bring it to a boil. Sprinkle some osmanthus to add flavor. Voilà! The tasty summer treat is done.

If you think this is hard to cook, mung bean soup is even easier to make. Put mung beans into water, boil it, and add some sugar. That’s all! You can use pumpkin or seaweed to add flavor.

In different parts of China, people enjoy different cool desserts in the hot summer. Grass jelly in Fujian and Taiwan, tapioca pudding in Guangdong, coconut jelly in Hainan, cold rice cake in Sichuan, yogurt in Xinjiang... you name it!

What dessert do you enjoy in summer in your hometown?