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Monday, August 22, 2011

Variety - the spice of life

Food glorious food . . . .that’s what we live for.
I can still hear the little orphan boy singing that song just before he asked for more.(Yah! Oliver Twist . . . . Please Sir may I have some more . . . . . . ?)
Yah! I know, that is so incorrect and unfashionable, but here in China it is so acceptable. . . .Beijing cuisine can be summed up as the distillation of the creations of generations of Imperial chefs over almost a millennium. . . .
Grandmas Kitchen, Brownie covered in icecream & cream
By 1271 with the arrival of Kublai Khan Beijing was made the centre of the Empire, importing elements and influences from a variety of sources; amongst them was the Mongolian influence – lamb roasting and the Hot Pot. Each province throughout China provided the Capital with ingredients. Shandong (as the birthplace of Confucius generally being regarded as the oldest) . . . was one of the most important agricultural producers, with numerous fisheries and farms which supplied Beijing with most of its food. Tianjin its capital is a treaty port, resulting in the added influences from the Russian & Japanese.

Now you tell me how all that could not result in a cuisine that is varied and delicious. . . . it also is one that encourages the attitude of, if you don’t like that dish, there are a 1,000 more to try!!!
- Liulichang street tea house. Buddhas tears tea and clear vegetable & noodle soup.
Element fresh, Sanlitun smoothie - kiwi fruit, orange and blueberry
Chinese chicken Hot Pot - and it was very HOT!
what you can afford?
or what you can make?
or what you are game to try?

Ready to cook our lunch

Pulling noodles with chicken and vegetables, at The Hutong cooking school

For more information on this cooking please visit Bri's blog at http://poiseonarrows.blogspot.com/2011/09wondrous-cooking-night-number-one.html

The ancient Chinese kept pigs and grew millet, wheat, barley, rice and fermented their grain to make alcoholic beverages. Around 1100BC they added Soya bean which was soon followed by soy sauce and bean curd (tofu). . . . .

Now 2011, there has been the introduction of fast food and dairy outlets: potato chips, smoothies, hamburgers, ice cream, pizza and various variations on numerous Western/European themes.

So yes it has taken a few years, but you have to agree that the influences to date have produced some extremely delicious and varied meals of which we have sampled, Peking duck, Mu Shu Pork, lamb and scallion, Mongolian Hot Pot, Sweet and sour fish, drunken empress chicken, Sichuan pepper with green beans, steamed dumplings, noodle soup, Chips with ketchup, pizza, mango smoothies, cold stone icecream with numerous add ins and hot candied apple & strawberries . . . to mention but a few.

So in this cosmopolitan city we have discovered that there is never a shortage of variety , it is more about trying to chose, what you feel like?

But one thing is for certain . . . . it is never boring.