Yangzhou, on the other bank of Yangtze River,
emerged during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476
B.C.) when Fu Chai, king of the Wu State, built his
defence system. Eventually it grew into a large, population
city. Emperor Yangdi of the Sui Dynasty ( 581-618) visited
prostitutes here; emperors Huizong and Gaozong of the
Song Dynasty (960-1279) built their temporary palaces
here, and Qing Emperor Qianlong visited six times.
The city itself is a museum of Chinese culture
and a beautiful Chinese garden. Small and quite as it
is, you have an easy access to all latest modern convenience
here, too, while enjoying traditional heritage. Through
all the ages, scholars and poets have lavishly praised
Yangzhou in prose and poetry, pouring their love and
yearning for this city in the most beautiful language.
This is the only city in China that receives such an
honour and it deserves, too. The city was founded by
the 4th century BC, with its oldest known name being
Kuang-ling. Its first location was east of the present
site. In 590 AD, Kuang-ling began to be called Yangzhou,
which was the traditional name of the entire southeastern
part of China. Beginning in the 7th century, Yangzhou
was the chief commercial city of the Yangtze area, due
to its importance as a canal port, seaport, and administrative
center. For westerners, an interesting footnote to Yangzhou"s
history is that Marco Polo served there under the Mongol
emperor Kubilai Khan, in the period around 1282-1287.
Yangzhou food belongs to the Huaiyang
cusine, one of the foue best known cusines in China,
which is popular in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
It first appeared in the Sui Dynasty (581-618) and has
a history of 1,200 years. Besides abd emphasis on broth,
HUaiyang dishes feature high-quality ingredients and
meticulous preparation, with care taken to maintain
the freshness and authentic flavours of the food. Dishes
incorporating freshwater-food and meats cooked in Huaiyang
style are eminent. Huaiyang dishes are delicately braised,
stewed or soasted and the most famous include stewed
pork ball, stewed fish head, shredded pork in chicken
soup, steamed hilsa herring, stewed pig"s feet,
etc. Huaiyang dishes also have a pleasing appearance.
Usually decorated with lifelike carvings of fruits and
vegetables, they are neither too salty nor too sweet,
suiting most plates. Huaiyang dim sum is also attractive
with steamed buns filled with pork and vegetable or
crab roe being the most popular.