In Search of the Secret of Sichuan Flavor
author: GoChengdu 2017-07-27
A group of 17 Japanese foodies, including famous chefs and editors of gourmet websites, arrived in Chengdu on July 13 to set off on their exploration of the secret of Sichuan flavor.
One of main purposes of the trip is to visit Hanyuan County in southern Sichuan, the core production base of Sichuan pepper, which plays a major role in creating the unique combination of Sichuan flavor. It has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth that sets the stage for hot spices.
Sichuan cuisine is characterized by a mixed flavor of salty, sweet, sour, spicy, numbing, fragrant an so on. But what makes Sichuan food so special lies in the distinctively spicy taste with a slight numbing sensation in the mouth, namely "ma la" in Chinese. Many Sichuan dishes have won wide popularity in Japan, for example, Mapo Tofu.
A group of avid Sichuan food fans, they had a great time since arrival in the homeland of Sichuan cuisine, savoring twice-cooked pork, Mapo Tofu, fish in boiling spicy soup, and so on.

Pepper Pick-up

Excitement rippled across among the members when they set foot on the pepper planting fields in Hanyan. "It is the Sichuan pepper that brings me here," said Yamanobe Hitoshi, a famous chef in Japan and a member of the group.
Everyone picked up the scissors and began culling the clusters of the pepper dangling on the trees, thrilled by the strong fragrance all over the fields. "This trip made me realize how important the pepper in the daily life of the locals," said Yamanobe Hitoshi, after an introduction by local pepper growers.

Cooking Contest

The trip came to a climax on the evening of July 14 when a cooking contest was held among the chefs from Japan and China, which gave a display of a variety of classic dishes and creative versions. To give the best performance, Yamanobe Hitoshi even brought some choice ingredients from Japan.
Another member Tetsu Nagasawa learned cooking from a famous Sichuan chef in Japan and felt at home during the trip. The scene reminded him of the days of his internship and he presented an authentic Chinese dish to show his deep feeling for Chinese food.
"I'm so impressed by this tour in Sichuan. Now, I'm expecting my next trip."
Activity Secret of Sichuan Flavor