For the first two years of my life, I lived on Powell Street in San Francisco Chinatown. San Francisco Chinatown is the oldest and largest Chinatown in North America. When my family moved to Oakland, we still spent a significant amount of time there. We would go there at least once a week so my mother could go grocery shopping. I remember waiting outside of storefronts with pink plastic bags in both hands. Even though many of the stores sold the same items, my mother would look for the freshest products with the best deals.
Stores and restaurants in Chinatown come and go, but one shop that still exists today is Wycen Foods Inc. This shop located uphill on Jackson Street is where my family gets our “lop cheong” or Chinese sausage. I would never buy packages of lop cheong that doesn’t have the Wycen name on it. As a kid, I was very happy to eat the flavorful dried pork sausage with rice. Wycen makes and sells the best cured meats. In addition to pork sausages, they sell other items such as Chinese bacon, cured chicken, and jerky. I’m lucky because my grandmother will occasionally buy me a bag of lop cheong, which can be stored in the refrigerator and last a long time. Every now and then I get the urge to have lop cheong. I would take one out of the fridge and cook it up and eat it with rice or ramen.