The local cuisine of Pingyao is famous throughout China for its diverse varieties. China has a history of over 5,000 years, and Pingyao as one of the four famous ancient cities in China has an amazing and colorful culture. The cuisine in Pingyao is part of this amazing ancient culture. To truly understand Pingyao City, the local cuisine is an indispensable part of the experience.
Since ancient times Pingyao has been an important commercial center with some of its businessmen being richer than the emperor himself. As these businessmen traveled around China they brought back with them different food stuff and recipes which caused the amazing diversity found in Pingyao local cuisine.
Pingyao has several dishes that are known throughout China: Pingyao Beef, Cao Family Smoked Elbow, Pauper Chicken, Pan-fried Buns and the Long Yam. There is a popular folk song called "Pingyao’s beef and Taigu’s cookie". This song is known throughout China. Before becoming a World Cultural Heritage Site, Pingyao was already famous for its cuisine.
The history of Pingyao beef dates from the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-8 A.D.). In the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) Dynasties, Pingyao beef became the symbol of Pingyao. In the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911), Dynasties Pingyao beef really hit its stride. The most famous brand is "Guan Yun". The chairman of the Pingyao Beef Group said that the essential ingredients of Pingyao beef are slice of beef and a handful of salt, no other seasonings matter. It is said that the origin of Pingyao Beef began when a stingy butcher had some beef that had gone bad. Unwilling to just throw the meat away, he added a lot of salt to it and boiled it. He was shocked at how wonderful the beef had become. Originally beef that had gone bad was used in creating Pingyao Beef, but today only fresh beef is used.
Another famous dish in Pingyao is Wan Tuozi. It was created by the famous cook Dongxuan. Wantuozi is made from wheat or buckwheat flour which is mixed with salted water until it becomes a dough. More salted water and rapeseed oil are added to thin the batter. The batter is then steamed. It can be served cold, or stir-fried with potatoes or yams.
The Health Food: the Long Yam
Pingyao is named the hometown of long yam. A small village called Yuebi village in Pingyao is the best place to plant long yam because the soil is loose and fertile, the sun is plentiful, and there is plenty of water. The long yam there is produced here has a high value. The village has a history of more than 800 years to plant long yam. The long yam can treat high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, asthma, neurasthenia, lumbocrural pain and so on. It can also defer old, so it has a reputation of "Chinese ginseng".
There are a lot of snacks in Pingyao. With the development of the tour industry, the food culture has gone into a new stage. Because the tourist guests come from every corner of the world, so the new elements are blended into the traditional food culture of Pingyao. Walking on the street of Pingyao, you can find the blend of food in South and North of China, and the combination of eastern and western culture. Pingyao food must have a brighter future.
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