Because today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, we will not be publishing a full ZGBriefs. Wherever you are in the world, and whether you officially celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday or not, we hope that you have a blessed day.
And in case you want something China-related to read today, here’s a link to a wonderful blog post that we published last year:
Thanksgiving in Chengdu (November 23, 2016, ChinaSource Blog)
I have had many memorable meals while in China, but my most memorable gastronomic adventure happened in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Chengdu, in central China, is a city that falls below the “heating line." As a result, many buildings do not have central heating. When I was there in November (a transitional season) it was common for people to wear down-filled coats both inside and outside since the temperatures were the same inside and out. I tend to run cold, so needless to say, I was cold all of the time. Maybe this is the origin of the Sichuan hot spices? I don’t know if that’s true, but Sichuan spices are notoriously pungent. Most notably, aside from the expected red chili peppers, the native green peppercorns called qing huajiao (青花椒) are known to actually numb the tongue. For me, it anesthetized my taste buds upon contact, kind of like Novocain, and rendered anything afterwards tasteless. I don't particularly find that enjoyable, but to the people of Sichuan, it’s a pleasurable experience.
I was in Chengdu for Thanksgiving, a western holiday obviously not recognized in China, but one that many Chinese Christians are starting to celebrate. As a special treat to me, my friends arranged a traditional Sichuan hot pot feast at a local restaurant. My hosts were thrilled to share all the delights of their regional cuisine and I was game for a new adventure knowing I would have a good story to tell later, and I purposed to really show my enjoyment, no matter what the fare.