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Banquet puts China's classic plates on the table

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-22 09:35
Sliced beef and ox tongue in chili sauce. Those were dishes at the Tianfu Family Banquet.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"To most people, Sichuan cuisine is all about being hot and spicy, but that's not correct," said Fu Haiyong, another chef at the banquet and executive chef of Chengdu Yingxiang Catering. Sichuan cuisine chefs use pepper and chili, but the cuisine actually consists of 24 unique flavor categories such as those using fish sauce or peanuts, he said.

During the meal, big screens showed diners a live feed of the kitchen so they could get a closer look at what goes behind the scenes in the preparation of the cuisine of Chengdu - a city whose history dates back over 3,000 years.

Since ancient times, the city's surrounding Chengdu Plain has been known as "the land of abundance". This is because of the advanced Dujiangyan Irrigation System, originally built around 256 BC, which meant the area experiences no drought or famine and always has plentiful food in supply - this contributes greatly to Chengdu's experimentation with food.

Relics found in ancient Sichuan tombs date back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) and include clay figures of chefs and many animals, fruit or vegetable.

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