The history of Chenguantun pickles dates back to the Ming Dynasty, flourished in the late Qing Dynasty, and originated in Chenguantun, but reached its peak in Tianjin, with a history of more than 600 years.
The selection of ingredients for Chenguantun's pickles must be locally grown large-headed Chinese cabbage with thick leaves and large stems. In the early days, all the cutting of the vegetables was done manually, with the cabbage cut into 1.3 cm wide and 1.5 cm long pieces. The cut vegetables were then dried on reed mats, turned over about four times a day, and collected at sunset. After several days of drying, the cabbage should have a moisture content of about 55%, such that it can be squeezed into a ball with one's hand, and will scatter when thrown on the ground. Then, high-temperature stir-fried salt was added to remove the water in the salt until it turned pink, and locally produced red-skinned garlic was added and mashed together with the dried cabbage and salt in the right proportion. The mixture was then placed into a sealed jar, with three layers of pig's blood brushed onto the jar's inner wall to improve the sealing effect. After drying, even if placed outside in the yard, rainwater would not leak in. The jars were stored in a dark place for 25 days, and the finished product could be taken out of the jar. The final product of Chenguantun's pickles is golden in color, with a salty and fragrant taste, and a strong garlic flavor, making it a delicacy on the dining table. In 2016, it was announced as a non-material cultural heritage protection project in Tianjin.