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Dining in Chongqing

Hot Pot

When you come to Chongqing, you will not to be surprised to hear that the Chinese believe in the saying "People make food their Heaven". It would seem that people in Chongqing are never weary of eating. Thousands of restaurants are scattered throughout every corner of the city, fulfiling customers from home and abroad with their different specialties.

As one branch of Sichuan cuisine, Chongqing cuisine is noted for its distinctive spicy flavors. Different from Chengdu cuisine, Chongqing dishes are spicier and stronger in taste. Chili pepper, sesame, fermented black beans, scallions, ginger, garlic, wine, soy sauce and an array of flavorings are used in almost 40 different cooking methods. These methods include drying, salting, spicing, pickling, frying, stewing and smoking. Color, smell, flavor, shape, and nutrition are all carefully balanced in Chongqing dishes - no wonder people say that Chongqing food is not only attractive but nutritious.

Dining in Chongqing - Hot Pot

Chongqing is the birth place of the hot pot in China. Once upon a time, it was a seasonal food designed to protect against the low temperatures and frigid winds of the winter. People would sit around a table, eat hot pot, and revel in the instant warmth that would flood their bodies. Hot pot has become more and more popular today, and it is widely enjoyed by people and regardless of seasons and regions.

Eating hot pot is a joyful experience. First, you need to choose the pot - spicy, pure or a combination of two - for the soup and dipping sauce. After the spiced soup boils with a hazy steam, fish, meat, bean curds and vegetables can be added. When the soup boils again, you can eat by dipping them in a little bowl of special sauce , be careful of the burning hot soup!

There are three kinds of hot pot. First, the spicy version called 'Hong tang'or 'Red soup'. Then, there is basically a bone soup without any spices and tasty. Finally, there is a compromise 'Yuan Yang Huo Guo', or called 'mandarin duck hot pot' which originally named 'double taste hot pot'.

Dining in Chongqing - Sichuan Cuisine

Of the eight major culinary art of China, Sichuan cuisine is perhaps the most popular at home and abroad. Originating in Sichuan province of the western in china, Chongqing-eastern in Sichuan , Sichuan cuisine, known as chuan cai in Chinese, enjoys deeply the international reputation for being spicy and flavorful. However, the highly distinctive pungency is not its only characteristic, frankly, but also Sichuan cuisine boasts a variety of flavors and different methods of cooking, featuring the taste of hot, and sweet, sour, salty, or tongue-numbing.

Sichuan province, particularly Chongqing , has high humidity and many rainy or overcast days. Hot pepper helps reduce internal dampness, so it was used frequently in dishes, and hot dishes became the norm in Sichuan cuisine. The region's warm, humid climate also necessitates sophisticated food-preservation techniques which include picking, salting, drying and smoking.

Dining in Chongqing - Western Food Restaurants

As the biggest mega city of the west of China , Chongqing has the comprehensive foreign language university in the southwestern part of China . Therefore, don't worry about finding a western restaurant serving tasty food. However, some will have menus in 'Chinglish' and even pictures of dishes. As an exception, quite nice fusion dishes are found easily.