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Suzhou Food and Restaurants

suzhou cuisineSuzhou cuisine excels in every branch of culinary art - stewing, braising, quick-frying, stir-frying, steaming, roasting and deep-frying. The dishes tend to be sweet. The soups are clear, but not thin; the gravy is rich, but not heavy. Suzhou cooks are especially good at preparing dishes using freshwater products. Some of the more famous dishes are braised duck in soy sauce and steamed squirrel mandarin fish.

Suzhou cuisine enjoys a significant position in China's culinary culture. Together with Suzhou silk embroidery, gardens and handicrafts, Suzhou cuisine is the 4 major cultural heritages. It has a long history, dating back to 5000-6000 years ago. Archaeological finds showed the local people around 4000 BC began to prepare and eat the cooked food. In Tang Dynasty, the "boat dishes" became popular as the rich people liked to hold banquets on boats so as to enjoy the beautiful scenery and food at the same time. Since the kitchens on board were small, the food featured delicacy instead of large quantity.

After thousands of years of development, Suzhou cuisine has formed 12 categories, and more than 1200 different dishes, which follows the tradition, and is sweet, light in taste, uses high-quality ingredients and exquisite cooking. Its vegetarian and aquatic dishes are especially famous.

The 2 most famous restaurants are Songhelou (Address: 141 Guanqian Street) and Deyulou (Address: 27 Taijian Lane, Guanqian Street). Other recommended restaurants are Nankai Restaurant (123 North Dongwu Street), Wangsi Restaurant (23 Taijian Lane) and Wanjiadenghuo Restaurant (379 Phoenix Street).

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I have no idea of how many minority villages I have visited in the mountains of Southwestern China. But I still feel the urge to explore more unknown areas.


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