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'Tofu Goddess' brings joy to village

( Xinhua )

Updated: 2017-09-26

GUIYANG - White tofu. Smelly tofu. Fried tofu. In a rural family stay in the village of Zhaibao in southwest China's Guizhou Province, many tables of dishes made with bean curd form a grand "tofu banquet."

In the middle of the tables stands Xie Qiong, locally known as the "Tofu Goddess." Wearing clothes of the Tujia ethnic minority, she introduces the specialties to scores of motley tourists munching on the delicacies..

"Zhaibao village is very close to the famous Buddhism mountain Mount Fanjing, which as very, very clean environment," Xie said. "The beans and leaves we use to make the tofu grow in such an environment, giving them very good texture."

Mount Fanjing is a popular, state-level tourist destination in Guizhou, attracting a large number of tourists throughout the year. But the village is relatively unknown.

Xie Qiong, 28, is a tourism employee in the county of Jiangkou, which administers Zhaibao. Last April, she was assigned by the county government to complete an 18-month residency in Zhaibao to help tackle poverty.

Zhaibao is home to 2,086 residents, mostly from the Tujia ethnic minority, and 177 are living in poverty.

"When I first came here, I was unfamiliar with the local conditions, so I had to follow local officials and went door to door to find out about people's lives," Xie said.

Xie found that the tofu made by the locals tasted great but was not being properly promoted and marketed.

"They could make different dishes with tofu, but due to a lack of promotion, the village had few visitors," Xie said.

Xie decided to help advertise the food herself.

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