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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Chinese Culture  »  Chinese Cuisines  »  Xiang Cuisine
Xiang Cuisine

Xiang cuisine (湘菜), also called Hunan cuisine, is a local cuisine with a long and profound history. It is one of the eight Chinese cuisines and well-known for its fragrant, sour and spicy flavor. Huanan,  situated in the central south of China, domains superior natural condition with temperate climate and plenty rainfall. Western Hunan area is mountainous, rich in bamboo shoots, mushrooms and game. Hills and basins are spread all over the Southeast Hunan region, so this area is advanced in animal industry and fishery. Northern Huanan is known as a land flowing with rice and fish.

Hunan climate is temperate and humid, so Hunanese like to eat chili for dewetting. Hunan cuisine is accustomed to making use of chili, shallots and garlic as seasonings. In Dong and Miao villages, locals usually host guests with dry chili stewed meat. They always advised guest with chili rather than meat. Hunan cuisine is very popular in Europe, America and Southeast Asia. In America, some restaurants of Hunan cuisine hang sign painted big red chili in front of the gate. The apron of waitress also embroidered red chili.

History and Development
The unearthed pottery food containers and drinking vessel in the Neolithic Age in Hunan province turned out that before 9,000 years, Hunan ancestors began to eat cooked food. According to some records, in Han Dynasty, Huannan ancestors mastered over 10 cooking techniques including burned, roasted, braised, fried, boiled, steamed, stewed, etc.. In Warring States Period, Hunan ancestors had quite colorful diet, forming the main southern flavor such as sour, salty, sweet and bitter.

Huannan diet came into being a complete system in Qin and Han Dynasty. The excavated Western Han relic proved that Hunan diet in Han Dynasty got further development comparing to the Warring States Period. After Tang and Song Dynasties, the development of Hunan diet got improved day by day. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, Hunan cuisine became one branch of Eight cuisines in China.

Representative Dishes
steamed fish head in chili sauce

Steamed fish head in chili sauce is a famous dish in Xiang cuisine. The fresh fish head covered with chili sauce is steamed on the fire. The fresh of fish and the spicy of chili sauce fused into one, forming unique flavor.

shredded pork with vegetables
Shredded pork with vegetable is home dish in Hunan. The main materials of shredded pork with vegetable (nong jia xiao chao rou) are streaky pork and green pepper with the main cooking technique-fried.

smoked flavor steamed together
Smoked flavor are special local product in Hunan province., mainly including pig, beef, fish, chicken, duck, etc.. Smoked flavor steamed together refers to steaming three kinds of smoked materials together. It tastes strong fragrant, pliable but not greasy. It is the first choice for delivering meals.

Changsha-style stinky tofu
Changsha-style stinky tofu is a kind of famous traditional snake not only in Hunan but also throughout China. Changsha-style stinky tofu is black in color, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It smells stinking, but tastes delicious. 

Add On: Beijing Cuisine
               Cantonese Cuisine
               Chuan Cuisine
               Lu Cuisine
               Min Cuisine
              Huaiyang Cuisine


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