We paid a visit to HangzhouCuisineMuseum last Friday. As its name suggests, the museum is dedicated to introducing Hangzhou cuisines. In the display area, we saw plentiful fake food replicating the appearance of typical Hangzhou cuisines such as Beggar Chicken, Longjing Tea Shrimp, Dongpo Pork, etc. All looked very realistic and mouth-watering.
The dish originated in Changshu of Jiangsu Province. The story goes that a beggar in Changshu stole a chicken. Because he didn’t want to share it with other beggars, he covered it with mud and cooked it thus the smell would not spread out. It turned out to be extremely tasty. Later, the recipe was known to others and it was even introduced into the imperial palace. In modern days, the chicken is often stuffed with additional ingredients such as mushroom, shrimp, etc. to enhance the flavor and wrapped in fresh lotus leaves which can impart much of the aroma to the dish and then covered with mud. It usually takes 4-5 hours to cook it.
Longjing Tea Shrimp
Longjing shrimp is subject to Su “rest of the dead person think of their native country, and the new fire test new tea, while Love Poem and Wine,” inspired by the use of Longjing tea “color green, sweet-scented, sweet, form the United States” four absolutely, and stocking fresh Live river shrimp match, create Hangzhou dishes.
Among all the tasty specialties of Hangzhou Cuisine, Dongpo Pork is well-known for its red color, tasty flavor, softness and thick soup which has been listed as the TOP 10 most favorite Dishes of Hangzhou Cuisine by the foodies and customers. It was said that the celebrity Mr. Su Dong Po created the dish who was a great poet and local officer in North Song Dynasty over 1000 years ago. He was firstly appointed as the local governor in Xuzhou, a famous ancient city in South of China, to flight against the flood from Yellow River. He made a great contribution to protect the city. As a gratitude to the governor, the local citizens present the pork and sheep to him. He was difficult to refuse the strong willingness of the local residences. Finally he accepted it and instructed his wife to cook the typical braised pork as a payback. For its good taste, it was highly praised by the local people and given the name Dongpo Pork. Several years later, he was transferred to be the officer in Huangzhou to train the army. On the free time after work, he improved the cooking procedure and made it more delicious than before. However, it was not so famous in the country. In 1089 A.D. he returned to Hangzhou as the local governor again. He was in charge to dredge the West Lake, built causeways and bridges which made the WestLake a new appearance. The local residences heard that Su Dong Po liked eating Braised Pork. So they presented much pork as a gratitude for his contribution to the city. He instructed his family to cook the braised pork with his own procedure and sent to the civilian workers who built the causeways on the lake. They named it Dongpo pork for the tasty food. One restaurant started to cook the pork with the same procedure as a recommended specialty for the customers. As a result, he got a great success for the dish. Every day, the restaurants were full of the eaters. The story and the dish were rapidly spread among all the chefs and eaters. Finally, it was regarded as the first local specialty of Hangzhou.
The integrated use of a variety of innovative mode in HangzhouCuisineMuseum perfectly shows the essence of Hangzhou cuisine. It’s the crystalline combined by the natural beauty of Hangzhou, food culture and the creative spirit of the city. This is a museum that you can watch, play, learn and taste. Come here and slow down your steps, enjoy the view and the cuisine. Taste Hangzhou two thousand years of history and cultural changes, as well as the life attitudes of Hangzhou city, eating style. Have a close contact with these historical figures and perceive their artistic charm and charisma.
Name: Hangzhou Cuisine Museum (中国杭帮菜博物馆).
Address: Jiangyangfan Bio-Park, Hangzhou.
Open hour: 10:00 – 16:00
Open time: 2012