He had after all made so many barbarian heads...and we have eaten a lot of these mantou...
When growing up in Nang Chong Village we had very few imported food. We had special tinned food as usual. The refrigerator was unheard of in those days and it was not really necessary to have one because we had so much fresh food from our surroundings.
Bread was not even an every day food!!
But in the evenings during those long ago days when lots of grand children came to visit my grandmother Third Uncle would always bring out a whole bag of flour to make his huge buns or mantou!!
Third Uncle had 8 children of his own. There would be 6 "other kids" coming to visit. So the wooden house would be filled with running footsteps (going up and down the stair case and running across the huge upper floor)..That's a wonderful sound I can still remember.
But the fragrance of cooking mantou in the huge kuali is something I can never forget!! It was JUST SO GOOD!! And all of us who used to visit grandmother Lian Tie and my Third Uncle would remember the buns we had for evening supper! Mantou with Golden Churn butter dripping down our hands...while we tried to bite into the hot steaming buns...That's love...
|My fellow blogger's mantou (Sunflower recipes)|
|My version of a "beginner's Mantou" Cut to check the quality of the dough...This is good and ready for another kneading and soon steaming....|
A popular story in China relates that the name mantou actually originated from the identically written and pitched, but more heavily pronounced word mántóu meaning "barbarian's head".
This story originates from the Three Kingdoms Period, when the strategist Zhuge Liang led the Shu Army in an invasion of the southern lands(roughly modern-day Yunnan and northern Burma). After subduing the barbarian king Meng Huo, Zhuge Liang led the army back to Shu, but met a swift-flowing river which defied all attempts to cross it. A barbarian lord informed him, in olden days, the barbarians would sacrifice 50 men and throw their heads into the river to appease the river spirit and allow them to cross; Zhuge Liang, however, did not want to cause any more bloodshed, and instead killed the cows and horses the army brought along, and filled their meat into buns shaped roughly like human heads - round with a flat base - to be made and then thrown into the river. After a successful crossing, he named the buns "barbarian's head" (mántóu, 蠻頭, which evolved into the present day 饅頭).
So do you see this connection?