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Wansan Pork Shank

Wansan Pork Shank

Centuries-long history and profound cultural foundations endow Zhouzhuang with well-known dishes, represented by Wansan Pork Shank, a necessity used by Shen Wansan, a man of great wealth in the southern Yangtze River area, to treat his distinguished guests.

As a local saying goes, "where there is a family feast, there is the dish of crisp Wansan Pork Shank." Over several centuries, the dish, implying reunion, has become a main course at festival and wedding banquets in Zhouzhuang.

Wansan Pork Shank is prepared with superb materials. Well-marbled roast of hind legs of hogs are steamed or braised for a whole day in a large casserole with mixed ingredients.

Wansan Pork Shank is eaten in a unique style. The thinner bone of the two bones running through the shank is taken out gently, keeping the shank intact in shape.

The art was dated back to the Ming dynasty. Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, out of intention of embarrassment, ordered Shen to cut apart the shank without a knife. Smart Shen adapted the above-mentioned method and took out the thinner bone. Emperor Zhu, touched by the great talent, said "let's take it as a bone knife." Since then, it has become a traditional pattern for Zhouzhuang residents to share the shank with the bone knife.