Bamboo food steamers boost Jinyun village's development
A villager from Gutangxia village makes bamboo steamers. [Photo/Lishui Daily]
In Gutangxia village in Jinyun county – located in Lishui city in East China's Zhejiang province – the small bamboo food steamers they make there are not only invaluable kitchen utensils, but also a source of income and pride for the residents.
The village has a long history of making bamboo steamers, a skill that was introduced by a craftsman who married a local woman more than 170 years ago. Since then, it's been passed down from generation to generation.
Bamboo steamers are widely used in Chinese cuisine to cook food with steam, preserving the original flavor and nutrition. They're made of bamboo strips that are woven into circular frames and covered with bamboo mats.
Making a bamboo steamer requires dozens of steps, from breaking the bamboo, to peeling, slicing, drilling, framing and weaving. The villagers of Gutangxia have mastered these steps and turned them into a specialist industry.
"Almost everyone over 50 years old in the village can make bamboo steamers," said Lin Yingchu, the secretary of the Gutangxia village Party branch.
At present, the main bamboo steamer makers in Gutangxia village are middle-aged and elderly people aged 40 to 70. Some of them run their own workshops at home, while others operate from workshops or cooperatives set up by other villagers.
The bamboo steamers made by the Gutangxia folks are of high quality and come in various types. They're sold to more than 20 provinces across the country and have brought wealth and development to the place.
"The output value of our village's bamboo steamer industry reached 4 million yuan ($561,698) in 2005 and increased to more than 28 million yuan in 2022," said Lin proudly.