Ants Climb a Tree

Mayi Shang Shu

Appears in

By Ellen Schrecker

Published 1976

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Flavor: Reddish-Brown: Other — Meal: One-Dish

Chinese haute cuisine abounds in phoenix and dragon tails; earthier peasant food uses more mundane images, like pock-marked women or, in this case, tree-climbing ants. Even Mrs. Chiang is unsure of the origin of the name for this famous Szechwanese combination of cellophane noodles (fensi) and chopped meat; perhaps the noodles represent the tree and the tiny pieces of meat the ants. It is a brightly spiced