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Chongqing Hotpot

Hotpot is the most famous and favorite dish in Chongqing. Chongqing local people consider the hotpot a local specialty, which is noted for its peppery and hot taste, scalding yet fresh and tender. Nowadays, as a matter of fact, Chongqing hotpot is famous and popular all over the country.

Chongqing hotpot was first eaten by poor boatmen of the Yangtze River in Chongqing area and then spread westwards to the rest of Sichuan Province. Now it is a very popular local flavor and can be found at every corner of the city.

People gather around a small pot filled with flavorful and nutritious soup base. The pot may be boiled by various means, such as charcoal, electric or gas. You have a choice of spicy, pure or combo for the soup. There are a great variety of hotpots, including Yuanyang (Double Tastes) hotpot, four tastes hotpot, fish head hotpot, tonic hotpot, entire sheep hotpot, etc. Chongqing hotpot is characterized by its spiciness, but to suit customers of different preference, salty, sweet or sour flavors of hotpot are available. As long as you can stand the spiciness, you are advised to try the spiciest one to ensure an authentic experience.

Thin sliced raw variety meat, fish, various bean curd products and all kinds of vegetables are the main ingredients for this cuisine. All of these are boiled in the soup, and then you can dip them in a little bowl of special sauce.

Chongqing people love their hotpot, especially when the weather is steamy. The fire dances under the pot, the heavily oiled and spiced soup boils with hazy steam, and the people are bathed in sweat. Chongqing hotpot can be found wherever there are street vendors or small restaurants, it has the greatest variety and is known for its delicious soup base and dipping sauce. Tasting this traditional dish will be the first choice of tourists who come here.

The most representative and famous types of hotpots are as follows:

Cattle-gut Hotpot

Hotpots are the traditional famous course of Sichuan, of which Chongqing hotpot is specially noted, characterized by hotness, heavy flavors and dense soup. The traditional Chongqing hotpot's materials include cattle guts, cattle waists, beef and other vegetables, being a real self-help course. Hotpot enjoys an age-old history in China.

Yuanyang Hotpot

Yuanyang hotpot is characterized by its unique flavor. In fact, Yuanyang hotpot is a mixture of the hot soup of traditional cattle-gut hotpot and the bree of mum hotpot. Thus it is honored Sichuan Innovative Hotpot. The pot is divided into two parts by a copper slice in the middle. One side is the container of hot soup, the other side is bree. The option of hotpot's materials is decided at your will.

Time-honored "Qiaotou" Hotpot

Chongqing hotpot is well known throughout China as a unique local eating culture, and the Qiaotou hotpot is said to be among the top ones, and it has been enjoying a high reputation in generations of Chongqing natives. The staff of Qiaotou has created Yuanyang hotpot, hotpot banquet and various nourishing series stockpot on the basis of hot-soup hotpot.

The other famous local food is hot and spicy Ma La Tang, which is similar to hotpot in some way. Literally, "ma" means numbness in the mouth, "la" is chili hot and "tang" means piping hot. Ma La Tang, with various raw ingredients cooked in a communal pot of steaming stock blended with spices, originated in Sichuan's largest city, Chongqing. The double-sided soup pot, placed on a central table burner, is the focal point of the meal. Ingredients include fresh sliced abalone, sea cucumber, hog tendon, Beijing cabbage and beef dumpling, prawns, carp fish fillet, bean curd, chicken fillet and vegetables. The excellent dipping mixture of sesame oil, chili sauce, peanut sauce, chopped chilies and garlic combine to make magic. Savory titbits are appetizingly tasty -- egg coated glutinous square, crispy spring roll, fried buns, eight treasure black rice and water chestnut jelly. Diners cook their food right at the table in steaming Ma La Tang, a savory broth blended with the spices found in abundance in Sichuan. 

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