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Millet desserts bring sweet taste of success

Updated: 2024-02-15 11:07 ( China Daily )
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Liu Tiantian (right) promotes her bakery products during a livestream session at her shop in Jinpoluo village in Beijing's Miyun district in 2022. 

Baker's unique creations lead to fame and business opportunities in capital suburb

Jinpoluo village in northeastern Beijing has boasted bountiful harvests of millets for centuries and now a dessert chef, Liu Tiantian, is adding her brand of sweetness to the place by using the ancient grain to make Western-style desserts.

In February 2022, she opened the SiiKoo Patisserie near the west end of the village. It sells her inventive menu of millet cookies, millet pudding, hawthorn berry cakes and chestnut Napoleon pastries, along with classic pound cake and croissants.

Nearly two years later, Liu, 35, said she took pride in that her little store had pulled through despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its remote location.

Moreover, she is proud of fulfilling her aspiration of promoting local rural products to a wider audience and introducing the sweet items that have enamored her since she was a little girl to the region where she spent her childhood.

"We have customers, intrigued by millet-based creations, driving several hours from neighboring Hebei province and Tianjin, to eat our desserts," she said.

"We have also seen local villagers who treat their grandsons and granddaughters who return during holidays with a cup of coffee or a piece of cake from our store."

Jinpoluo village sits in Beijing's Miyun district and has around 3,000 residents. Nestled between rolling hills, the village has vast millet fields that turn a shade of gold in the autumn, hence the name Jinpoluo, meaning "golden wicker basket" in Chinese.

Liu was born in Neijiang, Sichuan province and moved to Beijing's Miyun district with her family at around 6 years old.

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