Rainy Day? Enjoy a Hot Pot!

Mmm... bon appetite 😋

July is usually the hottest month of the year in China. For example in my hometown Beijing, the daytime temperature stays at a sweltering 95°F (35°C) all month long. But today was a lucky day for Beijingers because of heavy rain. We consider rain to be the biggest savior; people can enjoy coolness, something that is scarce during the hot summer, and above all, it is also perfect weather to enjoy the savory hot pot.

Although hot pot is popular all over China, the hot pots from Chongqing – considered one of China’s “Three Furnaces” of oppressive heat – are the most famous. The local variety is known for its peppery and hot taste, scalding yet fresh and tender. People gather around a small pot boiled with charcoal, electric or gas filled with flavorful and nutritious soup base. The soup base can come spicy, pure or a combination of the two. After the thinly sliced meat, fish, bean curd products and all kinds of vegetables are boiled in the soup base, people dip them in a little bowl of special sauce.

Eating hot pot is a treasured pastime in China. Anytime there is cool rain and wind, the hot chili pot is steaming on the table. Families or groups of friends sit around it and eat from the pot in the middle, cooking, drinking and chatting. It’s an amazing and special experience only reserved for those rare rainy summer days. So if you happen to be in Beijing or Chongqing, remember to call your relatives or friends for a chance to eat delicious hot pot.

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