Last week, the Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot near UT campus opened. It’s the first chain store in Austin. This was good news for people who love Chinese hot pot. The Little Sheep is the Mongolian-style hot pot, which is famous for its flavorful broth, including ingredients like goji berries, jujubes, and a mix of herbs.
Actually, there are many regional versions of hot pot throughout China due to the variety of broth and the specific meats used. Lamb is a common choice in colder Northern China while fresh seafood like live shrimp, oysters, and squid are used in coastal cities like Guangdong. Chongqing is known for Sichuan peppercorns and other mouth-numbing ingredients.
And there is much debate in China about the origins of hot pot. Some say it made its way into the Middle Kingdom from Mongolia, while others insist it comes from Sichuan province. While we may never know exactly where it all began, hot pot has been a staple of the Chinese diet for about a thousand years, and it gets more and more popular as time goes on.
Chinese people like to eat hot pot in winter, especially for northern people when winter is in full swing. The freezing temperature can lead to a serious sense of winter depression. But after a big meal of hot pot and a few drinks, people will forget about the whole winter thing that is going on outside. But nowadays, people like to eat hot pot not only in winter. You can even see people wolfing down hot pot in sweltering summer while sweating all over. Because Chinese people like the way of eating fully and delightedly with friends.
Moreover, hot pot is a fun interactive meal and one of the most social of dining formats in China. Not only people gather at one table sharing a meal, but they also are cooking their food together in a shared pot. There is a kind of rule that you don’t “hot pot” with people you don’t like. Hot pot is also an extraordinarily appropriate atmosphere maker in this condition, as a poet written, ‘around the stove, compotation and cheers’. Because in Chinese culture, the color red stands for joyousness and the shape round represents family gathering. The traditional style of Chinese hot pot is shaped round in the center, but there are different variants of hot pots now.
My boyfriend is from Sichuan and we love hot pot very much. And sometimes we invite friends to eat hot pot in our place. Many people believe that the hot pot is very simple and easy; however, the choice of ingredients and the preparation of seasoning need consideration for others while some sort of decisiveness. The flavor of the hot pot helps us to reduce pressure and homesickness. More importantly, sharing hot pot help us know more friends. The significance of hot pot is a microcosm to display the significance that food has in my life. I have always believed that one’s passion for cuisine is the best way to display one’s positive attitude towards life.