Local culinary delights offer yet another reason make tourists love the area! It is said that the best way to a man's heart is thru his stomach -- if you see Hangzhou as a woman, you'll definitely be head over heels for her! The dishes in Zhejiang Province are known for their delightful blend of sweet and salty flavors. Hangzhou cuisine has three special features: Lightness, Freshness and Sweetness. LIGHTNESS means the dishes are not very oily, so anyone can eat them without fear of indigestion! FRESHNESS means diners are always assured that fruits, vegetables, meat and fish are always crisp, tender and mouth-watering! And SWEETNESS means the chefs have a nasty habit of adding an extra pinch of sugar to their specially prepared dishes! Be careful, you might get addicted if you have a sweet tooth.
I'd love to have tried all the local dishes if I only had enough time. There are quite a lot, but I'll just name a few - the ones I tried and found most scrumptious!
One of my absolute favorites is Dongpo Pork – a dish named after a famous poet who was also appointed Governor of Hangzhou twice! The locals were so happy at one point, they presented him with gifts such as pigs and wine. Being humble and kind, Dongpo ordered his men to slaughter the pigs and cook them in the wine to serve to the people. It turned out to be a most tempting dish and in gratitude the people aptly named it Dongpo pork! The delicate and tender dish easily melts in your mouth. It is also inexpensive for quite a large portion!
Another fave is Beggar's Chicken, actually the most famous of all the Hangzhou dishes. It gets its name from a story about an emperor who once took a ride in the countryside and smelled something delicious. He ordered his men to trace the scent and found an old beggar roasting a chicken. I guess we should pay tribute to the beggar for such a mouth-watering delicacy! It's stuffed with pork, onion, ginger and other spices. Delish!
Sweet and Sour Carp is another great dish - one that's definitely to die for...er, literally speaking actually, because if you're not careful you just might get a needle-like fish bone stuck in your throat! But where is there fun without the danger! The meat is so tender and the spicy sauce that it's cooked in is absolutely delicious! It'll leave you're mouth watering!
And you can always top off you meal with Waxberry – a delicious fruit that you absolutely must try! It's sort of a combination of the redness of a strawberry and the juiciness of an apricot. Mmm – Mmm, lip smacking good!
Well, no reason to slow the pace of Hangzhou journey, since other marvelous wonders remain to be appreciated in this blessed land of endless discovery.
Zhejiang Audio Tour:
Ningbo Nanxun A Walk around Shaoxing
Zhoushan: Buddha & Beach Wuzhen: Genuine "Jiang Nan"
A Gourmet Tour to Zhejiang Tea Culture in Zhejiang
Shaoxing, Hometown of Celebrities
On the "Oriental Maritime Silk Road"
Explore the Architectural Aesthetics in Tongli
Yiwu, Shopping Mecca for Small Commodities
Back to "CRI Travel" More audio tours at "Multimedia"