You might be surprised to know that people have been eating chinese hotpot for almost 2000 years. Its history is much more older than the european cheese or beef fondue. The cradle of the chinese hotpot might be a city in the center of China from where the dish would have diffused across China, and later, throughout the world.
In old China
The first hotpot was mentionned 1900 years ago. The Chongqing hotpot, whose name comes from a huge city of 32 billions inhabitants in the center of China, and which is nowadays considered as the cradle of the chinese hotpot, appeared about 300 A.C.
At that time, the chinese hotpot, already strongly spicy, was a kind of soup where people threw meets and offal and was consumed by the fishermen working on the numerous rivers of the country. The dish was named according to the sound made by the bubble of the soup “gudong gudong gudong” and then became the “Gudong soup” (古董羹).
Since this age, the hotpot has survived through dynasties and diffused in a large part of China. During the middle age and the Mongolian Invasion, the conqerors adopted the dish and diffused it in the North of China. Nowadays, we know it under the name of Mongolian hot pot or Beijing hot pot.
The hot pot becomes a imperial dish during the Qing dynasty in the 17th century. This age was also the time when hot pot became of popular dish throughgout China. It will evolve under different types according to habits of the different regions of China and be the origin of the 5 great hotpots in China. The soup, which gives the main taste of the dish, firstly spicy, also underwent modifications. At such an extent than currently, we can find many different tastes which have nothing in common with the orginal one. In this post, you can watch an episode of the famous TV program called “A bite of China” which presents the history of chinese hotpot.
In modern China
The recipes and the way to eat a hotpot have also evolved. The warming system which originally used wood or coal is now more commonly using gaz and elecricity. The pot also underwent diversification into three different kinds today.
- The classical pot which is the simplest one.
- The mongolian pot, with a ring shape surrounding a chimney at the center used to evacuated combustion gaz and particles.
- The individuel pot, smaller where each people can put his own ingredients without distrurbing other people.
Nowadays, the chinese hotpot is so diversified that you can visit China through its hot pots.
You can choose the one you like most !