|Chopped chilies spread on large flat baskets were hung upside to dry under sunshine. (Photo/ chinapic.people.com.cn)|
Huangling is one of ancient villages in Wuyuan country of Jiangxi province. It has great landscape.
Sun drying work is very popular here, because in south China foods need to be dried in order to be preserved longer. When autumn falls, drying red chilies or other produces becomes beautiful scenery in Huangling.
Zhan Yuejuan, 64, is a local resident in Huangling, who is an expert with sun-drying work. Let her show you how to harvest, handle and dry these red hot chilies.
First step: Harvest
Autumn is harvest season; it is also chilies season. Chilies on the plants have matured and turned red. Zhan said now it is best time to pick chilies and hang them to dry.
Second step: Cleaning
Picked chilies always wear dirt, so cleaning them is also important before drying.
Third Step: Choose the best and take off head
Moldy, soft or black spots on the chilies are not qualified. Zhan only chooses firm and fresh chilies and takes their pods off.
Fourth step: Chopping
Small chilies can be made into ristras; but large chilies need be chopped into small pieces, and then they are spread on large and flat baskets to dry.
Fifth step: Sun drying
Either ristas of small chilies or chopped chilies need to be hung in well-ventilated place. And they need to be turned very often so they dry evenly. In rainy days, Zhan and other workers must take them back inside immediately.