Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sichuan Food in Chengdu

The combination of tastes in Sichuan food (lots of chili peppers and peppercorns, hot and, occasionally, numbing) brought Chengdu a USESCO designation as Asia's first City of Gastronomy in 2010.  The vast array of restaurants, from stalls in the streets, to fancy top-end restaurants all serve a wide variety of incredible dishes based on this combination.

I start with something simple and fabulous, a lunch of pork dumplings with spicy chili sauce, minced garlic, and pickles.  To accompany it, the server didn't ask if I wanted anything to drink, but automatically brought me a cup of hot water and kept it refilled through the meal.  This is very traditional in modern China, to drink hot water or hot tea through the day and with meals.

 Spicy pork dumplings

Another lunch features stewed beef and noodles, with Sichuan spices and pickles in a [spicy/hot] chili sauce.

Spicy beef brisket noodles

One day, I wander into the high-end shopping district near Tianfu Square and find a food court in the bottom floor of a mall.  There, I choose a platter of chicken, beef, vegetables, noodles, spaghetti, soup, and rice, all for 36 RMB ($5.21 USD).  It sounds like quite a combination and it is.  I enjoy it all!

 Food court

Chicken, beef, vegetables on top, noodles and spaghetti
on bottom, soup and rice on the side

Meanwhile, out on the street, the vendors are selling great looking and smelling treats.

 Food carts

And, the markets have fabulous displays of produce and prepared foods.

Herbs and spices



Fresh fish


Everything is fresh and inviting and I only wish that I could spend a few more days and sample some more of this fabulous cuisine!

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