Taste of Hunan hits the tables of Kenya

Editor:Sharon Lee
Updated:2015-10-19 15:22:38

Coming to dinner tables in Kenya soon: the authentic taste of Central China in 80,000 packaged meals. The meals, worth a total of $101,000, left China in mid-August and arrived in Kenya at the end of August.

According to a media report, it is the biggest ever export of Hunan cuisine, known for its spiciness, fresh aromas and deep colors.

Tang Bucong, president of the exporter Xin Congchu Food Co, says the meals come in eight varieties, including brown-braised pork, a signature dish of Hunan cuisine that is cooked in a way Chairman Mao Zedong was fond of, and braised pork with preserved vegetables.

The eight varieties were chosen to be exported based on "several investigation tours into Kenya" and "research and adjustment according to local people's taste", Tang says.

Chefs with the company cooked, packed and froze the meals. The meals are be ready to eat after being reheated in a microwave oven.

Tang says the Hunan Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau helped the company upgrade its facilities and train personnel to pave the way for the "first export of Hunan cuisine".

"It also helped the company comply with procedures to be a food export manufacturer in the shortest time."

The meals were sent to Shanghai from Changsha, the capital of Hunan, before being shipped to Kenya in cold storage.

"With growing overseas demand for Chinese cuisine, our company will build our own overseas brand and sales channels and network," Tang says. "Instead of being a contractor like many traditional companies, we will sell our products to overseas customers directly."

Xin Congchu Food Co, founded in 2002, has two production plants in Hunan and employs about 300 people.