By Zhaoyan Zhang
When winter comes, you can seldom find joggers on the Lakeshore path. Heavy snow keeps them sweating on the treadmills. People put on thick coats and boots, light the fireplace and drink hot cocoa with marshmallows. But to get yourself warm and satisfied, what can be better to sit at the table to enjoy Hot Pot with family and friends?
Hot Pot is the best for winter. Different kinds of foods and ingredients are stewed in the simmering pot. All you do is to wait until they become well-cooked, but the smell of the spicy soup and the food itself can drive you to be impatient. Just one bite will let warmth travel all over your body.
Over 1,000 years ago, people in China found this way to keep them warm.In ancient China, people living in the North sliced meat such as lamb and beef and put them into a metal pot of simmering broth. Chongqing is the best-known city of China as the origin of Hot Pot. In the past, boatman and boat trackers in Chongqing built up a tripod with stones, put a metal pot on it and boiled meat in the pot. This is widely considered as the beginning of Hot Pot. Chongqing is a basin area, the spice in Hot Pot is perfect for people to eliminate the excess moisture in their body.
Tasty and simple, Chongqing Hot Pot has spread all over the country and developed different styles in different regions. For example, non-spicy Hot Pot is also welcomed. Hot spicy soup can be replaced by other soup without spice, such as chicken broth and tomato soup. They are no less delicious than the spicy one and are favored by many people.
Hot Pot has spread to Japan, Korea and many other countries all over the world. It experienced reformation and became localized. For example, Japanese Hot Pot is known as Sukiyaki, and Budae Jjigae in Korea was developed from Hot Pot.
No matter what kind of Hot Pot you eat, the charm of Hot Pot is to share. Sitting at a table with family and friends, we not only enjoy the heat of the food but also feel the warmth and enthusiasm of each other. Winter is coming, why not sit down and enjoy Hot Pot together?