Dan Wang writes about Yunnan cuisine in his 2022 reflection letter. When I'd write about fictional solarpunk cuisine, this is what inspires me:
I can describe Yunnan cuisine only through dishes special to me. I think of pickled bamboo shoots, gently fried, lending their funky sourness to fish soups. I think of ham, sometimes steamed on its own, sometimes sautéd with some chili peppers, sometimes dropped in the pot to enliven a broth. I think of whole stems of flowers, tossed with vinegar in salad. I think of various types of rice noodles, in thick strings like Udon or as thumb-sized slices, which are more supple-bodied and offer greater chewiness than noodles made of wheat. I think of simple farm cheeses—a rare find in Chinese culinary traditions—steamed with slices of ham. I think of spicy pickles, indiscriminately sharpening the flavors of noodle soups or a vegetable dish, say a quick fry of lotus root. I think of yellow strips of pea pudding, tossed in chili oil, vinegar, and some bean sprouts. I think of a simple lunch of rice cakes fried with ham, eggs, and chives. I think of stewed beef garnished with handfuls of fresh mint, of mashed potatoes that do not drown in butter but are suffused with salty pickles, and of simple pans of soup that have up to a half-dozen types of dark, leafy greens.