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Beijing What to eat




Beijing is the ancient capital of many dynasties.  As such, it served as a cultural center for much of its history, bringing diverse elements together to create a colorful tapestry of cultural traditions. This richness is especially seen in Beijing Cuisine, which combines cuisines from many different regions with the local cuisine of the North China plains grassland and agricultural region. Beijing cuisine is broken down into specific categories: including Palace cuisine, Official cuisine, Commoner cuisine, Minority cuisine and Temple cuisine.   



Beijing Roasted Duck Features

The Chinese mark Beijing cuisine with several notable features. Great emphasis is placed upon selecting quality in-season ingredients. Dishes are delicately cooked with great attention to detail. Knife techniques, cooking time, and seasoning are all vital to the process. Finally, soups are an essential part of traditional Beijing meals.  



Representative Dishes

Because of Beijings history, its cuisine is famous for hosting hundreds of different types of dishes and snacks, yet several key dishes are popularly understood by the Chinese to best represent Beijing cuisine. These include: "Beijing Roast Duck," "Rinse Mutton", "Broiling Pork Cutlet, "Crystal Pork" and "Crispy Fish. In addition, there are over 2,000 kinds of Beijing snacks - a wide variety - attributed to the convergence of many different ethnic cultures, such as Han, Hui, Mongolian, and Manchu. Ming and Qing dynasty palace recipes are still followed today, creating some tasty delights with incredible unique flavors.

Beijing Roast Duck

The most famous Beijing dish is Beijing Roast Duck, popular throughout all of China. Nearly 1500 years ago, during the Yuan Dynasty, the royal doctor Hu Sihui listed it as a decent and delicate food in his masterpiece medical book Yinshanzhengyao. In his time, the duck was prepared by first removing the entrails, mixing them with shallots, caraway and salt, then placing them back and roasting the duck above a charcoal fire. Traditionally, roast duck is eaten in a small wrap - diners place slices in a roll with sweet sauce and perhaps some vegetables. Its delicious! 


Cuisine of the Imperial Court


Imperial Banquet

The Cuisine of Chinas Imperial Courts have been well preserved. This style is widely popular - the treasure of Chinese cooking. Its history has also created a host of stories, legends and anecdotes. For example, at the beginning of the Qing dynasty, an army of the Man minority entered central China, facing resistance by the Han people. Fighting was fierce, sporadic and frequent - giving soldiers little time prepare their food. As a result, they cooked by putting meat above the fire, cutting it first into small pieces, and ate them with soy sauce. After peace and tranquility returned, the Man people still liked to eat this kind of food, so the royal chefs enriched the original recipes. It became tastier and spread throughout China to become a standard meal for commoners as well as royalty.


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