Last week, one of the hottest topics online in China was an egg. Not just any egg, but rather an egg hardboiled in tea leaves and soy sauce. A tea-boiled egg.
Tea eggs became a major topic of online discussion after a professor in Taiwan claimed that many people in the Chinese mainland can't afford to purchase them. Tea eggs sell for about 30c an egg in places such as Beijing and Shanghai.
The point is that tea eggs are delicious and cheap, and that Chinese netizens are pissed that a professor in Taiwan is calling them poor.
The mockery and "anger" in China is so extreme that one rich man in Guangzhou has gone out and started giving out tea eggs across town. The man behind this act is businessman Yu Ying.
Realistically, tea eggs aren't too expensive, but they're not exactly a treat that many people in China can afford on a regular basis, either. What I mean by that is, the professor in Taiwan is right in a sense, because amongst the 1.4 billion people in China, there are a lot of really really poor people.
At the same time, netizens are right to call the professor in Taiwan out of touch and ridiculous. Tea eggs are pretty much just average snacks. There is a subtle saltiness to a tea-boiled egg and the flavour is very complex, but by no means is it an expensive dish. All you do is put eggs into a pot of tea water and soy sauce and cook on low heat for about an hour. It's not like it's foie gras or caviar.