What happens when you blend two popular dishes from the East and West?  Baozza! 

World Today

baozi 2

Food has proven to be a popular – and delicious – way of bridging cultures.  And one dish is trying to do just that.

It combines two wildly popular dishes in China and the United States.


CGTN’s Frances Kuo reports.

A new treat blends two popular dishes from China and the U.S.

Food has proven to be a popular – and delicious – way of bridging cultures. And one dish is trying to do just that. It combines two wildly popular dishes in China and the United States. CGTN’s Frances Kuo reports.

When it comes to diplomacy, there are different kinds of approaches: high-level talks between leaders and people-to-people exchanges.

However, one approach takes place in a shop in Beijing. It’s where Chinese, American and Italian cultures blend – literally. The ambassador: American Alex Cree.

Cree was on a business trip in the southeastern Chinese City of Guangdong, talking with his clients about the traditional Chinese steamed bun, the baozi.

“We were talking about the idea of maybe combining bao with more traditional American flavors like burger and different things and somebody said pizza baozi and I quipped, I just said as a joke, I said ‘bao-zza!’ and the more I thought about it the more I thought there might be something to this,” said Cree.

And there, “Baozza” was born.

Cree was so convinced that he quit his job and moved to China.

After experimenting with various recipes, Cree says he’s perfected his product.

The outside is Chinese, made up of the traditional baozi dough.

The inside is stuffed to the gills with the Italian dish that Americans have come to adore: pizza ingredients of cheese, Italian herbs and tomatoes.

“They’re very intrigued and they want to have a taste,” said Cree, co-founder of Baozza. “So what we then see is that once they have a bite, they realize it’s not a joke and it’s actually very delicious.”

One taster, Owen Zheng, was impressed.

“The flavor once you put the sauce on is really good if you ask me, it’s got this mixed taste, a bit spicy while the saltiness is just right and the cheese is all chewy, anyway it’s the first time I’ve ever had a baozi like this, and I think it’s not bad,” said Zheng. The real test is Zhan Mimi, who runs a baozi stand.

“I don’t think it’s going to become very popular in China, they might get it in KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), but I think there’ll be very few independent stores like ours selling these kinds,” said Zhan Mimi. Her little one is also not convinced: one bite, and he made a sour face.

Nobody said diplomacy is perfect.