Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. April 2007. Confirming my views that Sichuan cuisine is the deadliest and tastiest form of food known to man. The fiery chilis - either dried, pickled or in a fermented bean paste - and the lip-tingling, tongue-numbing, strangely addictive Sichuan pepper, lace the dishes with a taste that punches you in the face and leaves you deliriously happy. Your palate sizzles, your forehead moistens with sweat, tears roll down your cheeks, and you find yourself reaching out for more.
The scalding Sichuan hotpot broth, bubbling with chili oil and peppers, waits for raw ingredients like sliced beef and fish to be dipped into it.
Chengdu is also famous for its nibbles, tasty and cheap titibits that are often layed out like a banquet. We went to Long Chao Shou, one of the most famous purveyors of these traditional snacks where the two of us made our way through an array of 30 dishes.
Long Chao Shou, Chunxi Lu, Chengdu. Ph: +28 8666 6947