Ji Qing Xiang is a well-known name to generations in Kunming. In 1859, the very first pastry shop had opened in Yunnan, ran by Manchurian Mr. Hu Shan and his son Mr. Hu Zeng Gui, who were Mr. Shu Xing E’s chef. In the early days, local Kunming people call bakery as “Gao Bing”, meaning “cake” or “pancake”.
With the help of Mr. Shu Xing E, the father and the son opened a bakery shop called “He Xiang Lou”. They sold a series of Gao Bing, such as traditional Yunnan moon cake stuffed with Yunnan ham, Yunnan style pound cake, Sachima (a common Chinese pastry, originated among Manchus in Northeast China), etc.
Among them, the most popular item was the small-sized moon cake stuffed with Yunnan ham. With its good quality and authentic flavour, He Xiang Lou Pastry Shop had been running for nearly 150 years, making it the leading pastry shop of Yunnan style pastry in Yunnan.
Since the introducing of the public-private joint partnership in 1956, He Xiang Lou was merged with Ji Qing Xiang which continues to use the name until today. Ji Qing Xiang had been recognised as one of the Time-honored Chinese Brands in 1999 by National Trade Administration, and the National Department of Commerce also recognised it with the same title in 2006.
Today, when it comes to the most authentic Yunnan pastry, the moon cake stuffed with Yunnan ham should be the most identical one. Each year, during the Mid-autumn Festival, every family would bring some on the table for everyone to share or to send a box of fresh, delicious Yunnan ham moon cake as a gift to friends and relatives.
(photo credit: Ji Qing Xiang 1907; article reference: Zhengyifang, Old Street, Kunming)