In Chinatowns world-wide, bins of dried seafood are a familiar sight. These shriveled, flattened, and petrified ingredients are widely used in Chinese cooking, especially in the Cantonese south and other coastal regions, and were prized in the country's interior in the days before fresh seafood was available. Extravagant delicacies such as sea cucumber and dried abalone are among the foods known poetically as shanzhen haiwei, "treasures of the mountains and flavours of the seas" (the "mountain treasures" include wild fungi and game). Many of these, including sea cucumber, shark's fin and fish maw, are tasteless and enjoyed mostly for their slithery or gelatinous textures, which can make them inaccessible to outsiders who lack the profound Chinese appreciation of mouthfeel. Their high price and social cachet means they are often served to show respect for honoured guests and to flatter business contacts; one of them, dried shark's fin, has been a culinary institution since the Ming Dynasty, but should now be avoided for environmental reasons.