Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources
In Phase 1, I came up with 10 big questions that will be my fuel when we reach Xizhou. Phase 2 is all about finding resources that will help answer these questions through experts and websites.
I used a few key words that I used to find some sources that helped to create my questions in Phase 1. For instance, one key word that I used was "traditional." I used "traditional" as one of my key words when finding sources because it means that something was practiced for long periods of times and still practiced today. This is something that I am looking for in my research for Xizhou. Another key word that I used was "cooking," due to the fact that my inquiry project revolves around cuisine and food products. The last key word that I used was "techniques." I used "techniques" as a key word because I wanted to research about the ways that people in Xizhou cook and the definition of techniques is the ways of carrying out a particular task. That task is cooking.
I knew the information that I collected was valid because I went through the steps that I learned in class. For instance, does the article have a link where I can contact the author, a date for which it was written, "about us page", etc. Most of the articles that I read had these characteristics. I figured out who was responsible for publishing the articles by looking for the "contact us" link on the site. This link allows me to write whoever owns the article or wrote it. I also looked for a name at the top of the article.
I have chosen an expert to send an email to that has studied Dali cuisine in their lifetime. Hopefully, they will provide some sources and tips for answering my 10 big questions with the correct information. The email that I sent is shown below.
Dear Xu Honggang,
I am an 8th student at a school in Shanghai and currently I am researching about Dali local food products and cuisine. I have created a website that contains my current research on this topic and of you would like to take a look at my work and give me some feedback, I would greatly appreciate it. Here is a link to the website. http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/projects/blogs/9982/students
Lately, I have created 10 big questions to help fuel my research and I am currently trying to find sources that will help me answer these questions. I was wondering if you had any tips or links to sources that could help me in this process. My 10 major questions are listed below.
Opening a Restaurant or Stall in Xizhou:
1. What is the process behind opening up a restaurant or a stall in Xizhou?
2. Do the people wanting to open a restaurant or stall need any permission from the government?|
Obstacles in Xizhou:
3. What are the most common obstacles that stand in the way of cooking healthy meals in Xizhou?
4. How do the people of the Xizhou community overcome these obstacles?
Xizhou's Processed Foods:
5. Do Xizhou people use processed foods in any of their meals and what are they?
6. How often do they order and receive these processed foods?
7. How do the Xizhou people keep their foods fresh over periods of time?
8. What are the common ways to serve meals, such as the traditions practiced before and while eating?
9. What techniques of cooking, such as steaming, roasting, boiling, etc are most beneficial for the Xizhou people?
10. What locally grown foods are the most valuable to the Xizhou community, meaning that without them the people would have difficulty eating the right amount of food to be healthy?
Thank you for your time.
Currently I have not received a reply. However, I will update this page if I do.
Now that I am in Xizhou, I have completed my 3-to-5's. 3-to-5's are 3-to-5 minutes long where I talk to 3-to-5 people and explain my inquiry project topic and why I selected it. Then, I ask if they know any Xizhou community members that would be beneficial to talk to for information on my topic. I also asked them what types of expertise they might offer and where I might find those experts.
One of the people that I talk to was Ms. B. I chose Ms. B as one of my 3-to-5's because she has been working at the Linden Centre for a few months and has made many connections with Xizhou members during that time. Below are the contacts that she provided me.
- Dong Ayi at the Golden Flower restaurant
- Wan Dou Fen
- Mr. Chen
- Morning Market
- Rice Factory - Go earlier in the morning
- Noodle Factory
I chose Mr. Chen as one of my 3-to-5's, due to the fact that he studied my topic and wrote an article on it before. I thought that his knowledge of contacts that would be helpful for me would be really beneficial and reliable.
- Yang Ge at Si Fang Jie - sells Ba Ba
- Gu Chen Xiao Chi - Old Town Snacks
- Li Ayi at Ren Ze Kou - Bye the tie-die shop
- The Local Organic Farm near the Linden Centre - May need to bike there
- Big Mike - Knows the Owner of the Organic Farm
- Across from the Yan Family Museum is Ba Da Wan
Ms. Mai was also a really helpful 3-to-5's contact. I asked her to be one of my 3-to-5's because she has been to Xizhou more than 20 times and made many connections. This allows her to be a great resource in the process of gathering local contacts.
- Ms. Yang - Kitchen
- Ms. Zhao at the restaurant near Si Fang Jie
- Ms. Dong - Golden Flower
- Cousins selling yellow bean noodles - When Old Town Snacks are on the left, their shop is on the right
- Yard Entrance Restaurant
- Wet Market - freshly rolled rice cake and carrot, yellow bean noodle, and radish salad
- Fried Pancake at the Wet Market - Recently opened business
- Erqui - very popular food
- Cheese factory - go to the tree, turn left, and walk to the most dangerous intersection. In the middle of the tree and intersection is the factory
Mr. T was also another person that I talked to for my 3-to-5s. I thought that Mr. T would be really helpful because just like Ms. Mai, Mr. T has traveled here more than 20 times. He has made many connections over the time periods he has been here. I thought that his knowledge would be really helpful for making future connections.
- Yard Entrance restaurant
- Mr. Yang wife and wife's sister own shops in Si Fang Jie
- Muslim Restaurants
- Ma La Tang Restaurants
Mr. Zhao is one of our two Yang Zuo Ran security guards. He is one of my 3-to-5's because he is a member of the Xizhou community meaning that he has grown up with some of the people that I would be interested in talking to. This is super helpful and why I choose him as one of my contacts.
Mr. Zhao - Yang Zuo Ran Security Guard
- Go to the Market and ask around
- A Biao - Coffee shop
- Ask how people specifically use the ingredients
- Wan do Fen/Yellow Pea noodle - very popular in Xizhou
- Ask the kitchen staff
- Across from the Si Fang Jie museum Si Fang Xiao Chi - Ba Da Wan
- Xiao Wang
- Restaurant next door called Bai Xiang Yuar
- 8 Big Bowls, 4 Big Bowls, and 5 Bowls and 4 plates are very common
- Go see the festivals of marriages, births or deaths and talk to the chefs
According to all this information that I received from my 5 contacts, I know that I am finished because I feel as if there are too many local contacts provided that I cannot make connections with all of them. I believe that if I meet with all of these people recommended to me, I can defiantly stay busy throughout this month.
In my opinion, books about popular foods offered in Xizhou restaurants or Xizhou foods in general would be helpful for gathering information. I will make sure to stop by the Linden Centre very soon to check out some books related to my topic.
In this phase, I did some work with gathering helpful resources. Phase 3 is about finding background information, making connections with Xizhou members, and interpreting the information provided.