Where Chinese Delicacy All Started

The Manchu and Han banquet was introduced during Emperor Kangxi’s reign at the government house and official residence of the upper strata.

The Manchu and Han banquet derived from changes in the eating and drinking customs of the Manchus before and after the Manchu rulers moved to Beijing.

Before they moved, the banquet had been called the "steamed bun banquet." It was cooked simply and there was little variety in the food served. Most dishes were made of wheat flour and served in large quantities, as was typical of the dietetic customs of the nomadic people. In the ancient capital city of Xi’an, the dumpling banquet was well – known to locals and foreign tourists. The small dumplings, made in various shapes, were stuffed with such fillings as meat, shrimp, dried scallop, dried shrimp, sesame paste, and mushrooms.

Each had a fancy name. For example, the dumpling of black and white fungi was called "white silver and black jade"; the dumpling with a cherry on top was called "lone fragrant flower in bloom." In short, the Manchu and Han banquet varied by region because of different cooking skills, the discovery of new delicacies, and people’s regional preferences. However, the style and flavor remained the same, and the luxurious Manchu and Han banquet followed a set etiquette, procedure, and pattern.

After the guests were seated, they used copper basins and clean towels to wash their faces before drinking tea and eating the exquisite dishes. As they ate and drank, they also played chess, recited poetry, painted, or chatted.

After three rounds of drinks, shark’s fin was served followed by the second course – a hot dish of meats, then the third and fourth courses. The guests ate and drank as much as they could. The fifth course was cooked rice, porridge, and soup.

The Manchu and Han banquet became very popular during Xianfeng’s reign.

After Emperor Xianfeng died, Empress Dowager Cixi ordered that the name, Manchu and Han banquet, not be used outside the palace.

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About The Author, Jing Huang
Jin Huang has an interest in Chinese Culture related subjects. If you are interesting in finding out more information on Chinese Culture, please visit this successful Chinese Cooking site: http://chinesefood.smartreviewguide.com