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165 Effect of Publicity

 The Sweet Rice Cracker made by Yuan Zhou was exactly the same kind which he had eaten in his childhood. It had no other ingredients, only rice and sugar. Of course, they also added some peanuts or sesame seeds inside sometimes formerly, but most of the time they didn't.

Yuan Zhou pressed down the Sweet Rice Cracker gently and easily cut it with the bamboo knife into pieces. Every piece was about finger-width thick and finger-length long, a perfect size to enter the mouth. Yuan Zhou took out a white plate and placed 8 pieces of the Sweet Rice Cracker in it before carrying the plate to Jiang Changxi.

"Here's your Sweet Rice Cracker," Yuan Zhou signaled to her that it was available to eat now.

The Sweet Rice Cracker was most delicious at that moment. It had just been thoroughly cooled, bringing along with it the sweetness of the sugar liquid and the crispness of the popped rice grains.

"Humm," Jiang Changxi answered vaguely. Then, she directly picked up a piece of the Sweet Rice Cracker with the hand and impatiently stuffed it into her mouth.

With a sound of "Peng", she bit one piece off and started to munch it.

Immediately, Jiang Changxi felt as if she had gone back to her childhood. The sweet and fragrant taste as well as the fresh crispness was very refreshing back then. When she was little, there were only a few snacks for sale. Therefore, she wouldn't feel that the sweetness was too much. Even now, she hadn't expected that the sweetness wouldn't be too much, either.

Having eaten up one piece, she finally swallowed up the saliva in her mouth. Only then did Jiang Changxi take up the chopsticks and knock on the Sweet Rice Cracker. It was not loose at all. During her childhood, the craftsman always did that after preparing the snack in order to prove he had used up all the sugar brought by the villagers and never stolen any.

Jiang Changxi nevertheless didn't do that for that purpose. However, only Sweet Rice Crackers that weren't loose could be considered delicious.

"It's really crisp and super delicious. It seems that there is no dish of the 100 Styles of Rice Cuisine that could baffle Boss Yuan." Jiang Changxi sighed with emotion while blissfully eating the Sweet Rice Cracker.

What was rare was that she could still speak clearly with a full mouthful of the snack and make herself understood.

"Humm, thanks for your compliments." Yuan Zhou was always open to any form of compliments. After all, he deserved it.

The Sweet Rice Cracker chewed in Jiang Changxi's mouth emitted a sweet sound of "Ka cha Ka cha". One could imagine how yummy the snack was.

In a moment, Yuan Zhou's shop became busier.

On the other side, somebody was likewise looking for Yuan Zhou.

"Presenter Lu, so we are going to record Yuan Zhou's restaurant for this edition, right?" A staff member, who was dressed in a white shirt printed with a television logo, confirmed again.

"Yes. You also read the post on the internet, didn't you? Let's go record an edition of the program when it's still a hot topic," the Presenter Lu said indifferently while examining his costume.

"But there's probably no customers at this period of time," the staff member reminded him kindly.

"Then it's the perfect time for us to record the cooking process of that boss. Let's imitate the 'A Bite of China' and then make up a story. Then the program is done," Presenter Lu raised his head and said confidently.

"Alright. Then I'll start to make the preparation," the staff member took notes of the program procedures and then began to make arrangements.

"Zi", after a screech of brake, all the staff members of the programme division arrived.

"Come on, come on. Move these things down and put them here. They'll be used later," the staff members got off the van first and started to give commands while Presenter Lu got off the van after them and freshened his appearance.

Speaking of them, they were from a county-level local TV station. The program of Presenter Lu was called "Folk Talent", which specifically looked for the craftsmen who had unique skills and craftsmanship in ordinary times. Of course, foodies were ruling the society right now and the crafts that they were looking for were naturally all about foods.

For this particular program, however, it wasn't very successful and always had average popularity. There were basically two reasons. One was the problem of the broadcasting time, which was set after 11:00 late at night. Whoever watched the food program in this period of time was basically torturing themselves. The other one was the problem of the hosting and filming style.

It's also because that the staff who was looking for source materials recommended to them a post in the foodie forum that they came here to record the program this time.

It was 3:30 in the afternoon. With the restaurant doors open widely, Yuan Zhou was seated at the door and leafing through the take-out dishes, preparing to complete the mission without anybody knowing his purpose.

When Presenter Lu and the staff members came up and prepared to enter the restaurant, Yuan Zhou raised his head and said, "It's not opening hours, so I won't entertain any customers."

"Are you just a waiter or the boss?" Presenter Lu stopped and turned his head to ask him.

"Boss," after that, he lowered his head down and continued doing his own things.

"You are the boss. That's good. We are now preparing to record a program concerning a story about the Baked Egg Cakes in your restaurant. Certainly, you must cook it yourself," the manner of speaking of Presenter Lu's was neither arrogant nor imperious. It's just quite natural.

It was indeed so. Even if his program was not popular, he was from the TV station. Who would decline the precious opportunity to make free publicity on TV? The advertisement campaign on TV was known to be charged on basis of seconds. It was definitely something to be sought just to make a separate edition of the program for one particular dish.

Even big chain hotels wouldn't refuse the precious offer and would endeavor to cooperate with them, not to mention such a small restaurant of Yuan Zhou's.

"I don't have the intention to agree," Yuan Zhou said bluntly, appearing to be not cooperative at all.

"Well, I haven't made any self-introductions. We are the staff members of the program 'Folk Talent' from XX TV station. This is my employee's card," while speaking, Presenter Lu handed his employee's card to Yuan Zhou.

"Thanks, but I refuse," with a frown, Yuan Zhou didn't intend to receive and check the card and instead, still refused flatly.

"I haven't finished yet. This is a program recording of your restaurant, for free. We don't charge anything," Presenter Lu said with a proud expression on his face.

"I don't think you guys understand what I mean. I mean, I refuse," Yuan Zhou stood up and said seriously.

"Er...." however talkative he was, Presenter Lu choked.

They had never encountered such an embarrassing situation. Even those who didn't believe in them at first would still cooperate with them happily after they told them it was for free and they checked their working permit. What was the matter with the boss? Presenter Lu frowned and didn't really understand him.

"Presenter Lu, shall we take Plan B?" Realizing the embarrassing atmosphere, a staff member behind said in a low voice.

"What an eccentric person," Presenter Lu was reluctant to admit failure and spitted out a word at last.

"Indeed. We are offering him free publicity but he still refused." The staff members also had complaints. During normal times, all store owners spoke well of them and flattered them. No one was like this Boss Yuan, who didn't respond to them at all.

"Stop it. Let's take Plan B. Put everything away and leave now," Presenter Lu straightforwardly interrupted the complaints from the staff members.

Dozens of people moved quickly in clearing up all the things. Just in a little while, they packed everything in the van and then left.

Yuan Zhou sat back down on his seat calmly and continued doing his own stuff. At that time, Boss Tong couldn't help craning her neck and asking, "Yuan Zhou, are those people from a TV station? Why did they come and go so quickly?"

"Humm, I don't want to be recorded," Yuan Zhou said disdainfully.

"Record what? Your restaurant or something else?" The skinny face of Boss Tong was filled with curiosity.

"Record my cooking process," Yuan Zhou explained.

"That's a good thing. Why do you refuse? That's free publicity. Many want it but are not able to get it." Watching them disappear from her sight, Boss Tong heaved a sigh.

"They didn't inform me beforehand and tried to record the program as soon as they arrived. It's not the right way," Yuan Zhou brought out his reason.

"People from TV stations always have some air of arrogance. But so what? You can get your own benefits from the program," Boss Tong responded with sincere words and earnest wishes.

"Don't worry, Aunt Tong. I just don't want to spoil them. It doesn't matter," Yuan Zhou felt his heart warmed towards Boss Tong's kind heart.

"Yeah, that makes sense. Your good business also brought about more business to me. And your culinary skills are definitely top-grade," when Boss Tong recalled of the long line of customers at the entrance of Yuan Zhou's restaurant every day, she then stopped persuading him and talked about something else with a smile.

"That's because Aunt Tong washes clothes well," facing his old neighbor, Yuan Zhou appeared to be more talkative.

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