Many foreigners living in Chengdu feel lucky that they have so many kinds of Szechuan Sauces.
The television show Rick and Morty has created a new generation of Szechuan sauce fans, who crowded McDonald's restaurants in large cities in the US after McDonald's failed to provide enough supplies of the sauce.
The precious Szechuan Sauce, first unveiled in 1998 as a promotion for the Disney film Mulan, was brought back in response to petition launched after it was mentioned in the Rick and Morty.
Fans took to social media to vent their frustrations after being unable to get their hands on the out-of-production dipping sauce. One couple posted that they had driven for four hours to a restaurant stocking the sauce, but were left disappointed.
Some media reports have said that the sudden interest has spiked prices and sales of some spicy Chinese sauces, such as Lao Ganma hot sauce.
The news has spread to China, where it was picked up with amusement and many Chinese felt it absurd that foreigners would be so passionate about a Sauce named after their homeland Sichuan Province.
The province of Sichuan, with its spice-filled complex flavor profiles that include gustatory sensations like tingling numbness from Sichuan peppercorns and fiery heat from chilis, has a number of sauces, such as famous Pixian Chili Paste (Pixian Douban), Sichuan-style spicy dipping sauce even with meat or pickles and so on.
The McDonald's dipping sauce has been described as tasting sweet, sour and spicy. Some netizens, however, said the sauce was unlikely to be an authentic representation of Sichuan culture. A number of local Sichuan people exclaimed that they have no clue as to what is Sichuan Spicy Sauce since there are countless kinds of spicy sauces.
Otherwise, tourists will be surprised that they could find Sichuan chilli powder sauce served in McDonald's and KFC restaurants in every outlet in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan.
Among all the Sichuan authentic dipping sauces, the most famous Doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean paste) in Sichuan is Pixian Douban, which is widely been used in Sichuan dishes and has even been regarded as the "Soul of Sichuan Cuisine".
Made from fermented broad beans, chili, Sichuan peppercorns and various spices, Pixian Douban tastes spicy and salty, with mouth-watering fragrance.
Sichuan cuisine is characterised by its bold, pungent and spicy flavours and Pixian Douban plays an important role on their texture. All Sichuan dishes with Pixian Douban as a major seasoning are perfect in color, aroma and taste.
Below are some typical Sichuan dishes.
Mapo Tofu (Bean curd with mince and chili oil): one of the most influential flavors of Sichuan cuisine, served in almost every Sichuan restaurant.
Fuqi Feipian (Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce): one of the most popular Sichuan dishes — beautiful in color, soft and tender, aromatic and spicy, which is often served as a cold dish. It is made of thinly sliced beef and a generous amount of spices, including Sichuan pepper corns and Chili.
Fish-flavored Shredded Pork:
Fish-flavored Shredded Pork: fish-flavored dish in the unique style of Sichuan cuisine. Ingredients include shredded pork, agarics and endive sprouts. The delicious dish has no fish but has the flavor of fish.
Huiguorou (Twice-cooked Pork): a well-known Sichuan-style Chinese dish of fatty pork leg or belly. The pork in this dish really is cooked twice — first simmered, then stir-fried. This twice cooked pork recipe first simmers the pork in a fragrant mixture of rice wine, ginger, and green onions, then finishes the dish by stir-frying the sliced, simmered pork with garlic and a chile-laced sauce.
There are countless Hotpot restaurants in Chengdu and having a taste of Chengdu Hotpot is almost a must to the visitors.