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Famous local foods

(People's Daily Online)

17:17, May 23, 2013

Shaanxi boasts a wide variety of local foods. Being a historic capital city, Xi’an affords Shaanxi cuisine the opportunity to draw upon the essence of various foods from around the country, to incorporate flavors of different nationalities, to gather the specialty of many famous drinks and dishes, and to explore and develop the cooking techniques of imperial court dishes from the past dynasties. As a result, Shaanxi local foods are well known for their rich variety, fancy colors, strong ethnic flavors, and ancient traditions.

Beef or Lamb Paomo
Beef or Lamb Paomo is the most distinctive and popular food in Xi’an. It used to be called “Lamb Broth” in ancient times. Su Shi, a Song dynasty poet, once wrote in his poem “Gansu Province is well known for preserved bear meat whereas Shaanxi Province for Lamb Broth.” Beef or Lamb Paomo features spicy and savory taste, tender meat and thick soup, chewy “Mo”—a specially baked wheaten bread, and lingering taste. Besides, it warms your stomach. Thick chili sauce and pickled sweet garlic gives out a particular flavor in Paomo which really is a rare and top nourishing delicacy.
Recommended restaurants: the Sun Family Restaurant; Tongshengxiang Restaurant

Pork Intestine Paomo
Originated from “boiled intestines” as a popular Song-dynasty street food, Pork Intestine Paomo claims to be unique for its savory soup, delicious taste and special smell. What makes this food more famous is its unique way of cooking and eating: tender pork intestines and snow-white glass noodles are cooked in pork soup first, chopped fresh green corianders are added to the soup for better flavor; it is served in a thick huge porcelain bowl to hold the heat. Before eating, you put the hand-broken Mo (baked bread) in the soup to saturate the flavor, which in Chinese called “Pao.” The most authentic way to enjoy the food is with the pickled sweet garlic. Definitely, you will derive immense satisfaction from this special local food.
Recommended restaurant: Chunfasheng Restaurant

1. Paomo Banquet
2. Pork Intestine Paomo

Shuipen Lamb
Known as “June refreshment”, Shuipen Lamb is the most favorite summer food for people in Central Shaanxi. The lamb, being stewed in the soup stock, tastes soft and delicious. It is often served in hot soup with chopped fresh coriander, sesame pancakes along with fresh garlic, and pickled Chinese cabbage. You’ll sweat heavily with pleasure as you keep eating and eating while not being able to resist the temptation of the delicacy till you empty the whole bowl.
Recommended restaurants: the Jin Family Restaurant in Beiyuanmen; the Bai Family Restaurant in North Guangjie; Chengcheng Shuipen Lamb

Guantang Bao (Steamed Dumplings with Juicy Stuffing)
Shaanxi is famous for all types of dumplings and Guantang Bao is a typical Muslim food with either beef or lamb stuffing. What’s particular about the dumpling is that it is steamed and the stuffing is very juicy. In order to keep the soup inside the wrapper, the dumpling mustn’t get stuck on the bamboo steamer. The authentic steamed dumplings are exquisitely made with tender beef or lamb and savory soup inside and thin and translucent wrappers. They taste fatty but not greasy. You must wait for the freshly steamed dumplings to cool down a little bit before you eat it, or the hot soup will either burn your tongue or splash all over your face. However it is considered not an embarrassment but a delight to go through it for yourself. To finish the meal a bowl of sweet porridge with eight-treasures is something you must try.

Rou Jia Mo
Rou Jia Mo (Pork Sandwich) is a highly acclaimed delicacy for its non-greasy melt-in-the-mouth lean meat and lingering aftertaste.
Recommended restaurant: the Fan Family Rou Jia Mo

Soup Dumpling
Fried Sweet Cake

1. Guantang Bao
2. Rou Jia Mo

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