China is known around the globe as the source of consumer products, but its businessmen are setting their sights on the gourmet food market.
Chinese suppliers say their foie gras, caviar and truffles are just as tasty as their European cousins but have the added benefit of being cheaper. But some connoisseurs argue that China's gourmet offerings are inferior in taste.
NPR's Louisa Lim sought expert opinions from a pair of expatriate chefs based in China: Eric Johnson of Jeans Georges and Stefan Stiller of Mimosa Supper Club.
Putting their discerning palates to the test, Lim subjected them to a blind tasting of European and Chinese truffles and goose liver paté.
The two were unable to identify the origin of the truffles they tried and gave both the European and Chinese versions a failing grade.
However, in the second and third rounds, Johnson and Stiller immediately identified the imported foie gras and declared it better tasting.
On the question of whether China's products entering the market posed a threat to other gourmet food suppliers, Johnson concluded, ". . .in terms of the best of the best and those types of things, as far as I'm concerned, there still isn't much of an issue."