Magical Guizhou: Spicy and Sour is as Fascinating as the Customs and Traditions

Sour, sweet, bitter, and spicy, the flavors here are as diverse as the fascinating customs and traditions of China's Guizhou

Guizhou is a mountainous province with rich worldly flavors. Sour, sweet, bitter, and spicy, the flavors here are as diverse as the fascinating customs and traditions of this region. The food and daily life here are so interwoven with one another that there is hardly a border in between. Here, each flavor is so much more than just a sensation on the tip of your tongue. It is the projection and understanding of life itself. To let more people know about China's Guizhou Province, the People's Daily Online West USA Inc specially launched the "Magic Guizhou" series.

With an average elevation of 1,100 meters, and a rainy and humid climate, Guizhou's love for chili pepper is written into the genes of its people. Chili peppers drive away dampness and coldness, cultivating health, strength, and balance. The spicy food here also comes in rich varieties. 

In the village of the Dong people in Sanlong, a captivating spicy aroma is slowly coming into being, as the stone pestles keep pounding against the stone stamp mill. The spicy aroma teases the tip of your nose, as the singing of Dong people pleases your ears. The chili pepper is then transferred from here to the kitchen, where it will be blended with different flavors to create many mesmerizing dishes later. For example, for the Guizhou staple "Laziji (Spicy Chicken)," the hot, aromatic, and chewy "Ciba" chili pepper paste is indispensable. The stir-fry process infuses the chicken with the hot spicy flavor of the chili pepper paste, allowing the two ingredients to compliment each other and create a unique taste-tantalizing experience. 

As the weather gets warmer on the day of the Beginning of Spring, Granny Zhang is about to unveil the delicacy she has been storing for half a year, a tradition of her Miao culture. Inside this tiny clay jar, fish from the rice paddies and air-dried meat are wrapped inside layers and layers of minced chili pepper. The spiciness of the chili pepper and the salt collide and penetrate the fish and meat. Over an extended period of marination, the blended flavor is transformed into a unique taste that defines the marinated fish and marinated meat — two of the most iconic ethnic cuisines of the Miao and Dong ethnic groups. Over crackling burning wood, marinated fish and meat are rolling in the boiling pot, leaving a lingering aroma in the air. 

The locals in Guizhou have a strong preference for spicy, salty, and sour food. While Granny Zhang prepares to make marinated fish in her clay jars, Mr. Sun is also getting busy in the fermentation chamber in his house. Over 30 large jars filled with white sour soup are undergoing a big transformation. As soon as the openings on top are completely covered by white nets, the white sour soup is ready to be served. With just one scoop, the white sour soup adds a multilayered flavor with both sweetness and sourness to the hotpot. 

Amy Zhou
Phone: 919.564.8043

Source: People's Daily Oline West USA Inc

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