【明報專訊】The Tuck Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company is the last remaining traditional business of its kind in Hong Kong. Each item in the crowded narrow shop is handcrafted by a member of the Lam family, who moved to the city in the 1950s. Raymond Lam started working in the shop as a young boy and by the time he graduated he could make the steamers himself. Mr Lam still spends every day carefully moulding1 the bamboo into the round-shaped steamers, which house the beloved Chinese dim sum. The key to a great steamer, he says, is knowing the softness and texture of each piece of bamboo, which imparts2 a unique smell and taste to the food inside. Mr Lam's trademark stamp can be seen on steamers in local dai pai dongs and restaurants across the city. But he suspects others are making counterfeit copies of his work and is concerned about his reputation and the survival of his business.
It is no secret that Hongkongers love their dim sum. The traditional bite-sized delights just would not be the same without their signature bamboo steamer. Bamboo has long been used in China to produce household goods, but none more iconic than the steamers. The material is naturally antibacterial, heat and mould resistant, light, inexpensive and perfectly absorbs excess water from the steaming process. Though demand is certainly not waning — Hongkongers' love for dim sum is still going strong — China's cheap labour costs and access to bamboo now means that the production of these steamers has almost entirely moved to mainland factories. Hong Kong's once thriving industry is almost entirely extinct — all except for the Tuck Chong Sum Kee Bamboo Steamer Company.
(1) mould 除了指塑造某物，也可用於人，如His upbringing moulded him into a successful entrepreneur。
(2) impart 指賦予某物性質，如The sauce imparts a great flavour to the chicken。
Thanks: Blacksmith Books
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Question: Describe your favourite dim sum dish.
Last week's winner: Dennis Ip
資料提供：Sunset Survivors by Lindsay Varty