Pecan Pie – A New Global Sourcing Challenge?!

Pecan Pie I will miss tomorrow (at parents'  home in Tyler, Texas)

The actual Pecan Pie I will miss tomorrow (at my parents’ home in Tyler, Texas)  Photo used with permission from K. Anderson.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?  One of my personal favorites is Pecan Pie – Texas style.  However, as we learned from our language helper last night, it might be a long time before we get Pecan Pie in China.

Turns out her dictionary (with tens of thousands of Chinese words) did not even have a word for “pecan”.  Our electronic dictionary also failed to find a Chinese word for “pecan”.  So, easy access to pecan pie does not look promising in the near future.

Naturally, our response to this sourcing challenge was to go with a dual-source strategy which worked out beautifully.  In a rare moment of cultural adaptability and flexibility, we enjoyed both apple pie and pumpkin pie as a fitting end to a delicious traditional Thanksgiving Dinner today at the Serendipity Diner (Dali’s local “New York style diner”).

Serendipity Diner - Dali Old Town

Serendipity Diner – Dali Old Town

Feb 15, 2015 – Pecan Update:

As often happens here, things change.  Since the original “pecan” post was published (above), a couple of things happened.

First, we began to notice “pecans” in the marketplace where they had not existed before (despite the fact that the closest Chinese word for “pecans” actually means “walnut”).  In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably mention that these local “pecans” do have “Chinese characteristics“…meaning that the shell is typically already cracked (not shelled) and the meat itself has a sweet, buttery taste.  They are very nice…but different.

Pecans in local market

Pecans in local market

Then, a shipment of pecans arrived in a special package from Texas…what I would call the “real thing“!  So, our logistics crisis has been solved for now.  A fun reminder that it is always a tricky business to report on circumstances here in Yunnan, as they can often be quite different elsewhere in China and are subject to change here in Yunnan and everywhere else in China!

Copyright © Kevin Beaty, YUNEV and “Feet on the Ground…”, 2015.  All rights reserved.


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