Xuzhou Featured Food:
Farewell My Concubine
This dish used to be called “Dragon meets Phoenix”. It is said that Xiangyu prepared the “Dragon and Phoenix Banquet” when he held the ceremony of founding the state in Xuzhou. Yuji, his beloved woman, devised this banquet and the major dish of this is the “Dragon meets Phoenix”. The main material is the tortoise and the pheasant. As the tortoise lived in water and the pheasant was one kind of birds, people named this dish after dragon and phoenix as they respectively stand for the animals in water and the birds. Today, people cook this dish with turtle and chicken instead of tortoise and phoenix.
Dog Meat In Turtle Soup
As the legend says, Fankuai lived on selling dog meats at the end of Qin Dynasty. Liubang loved his dog meat but sometimes he had no money to buy it. So he often owed Fankuai the money. In order to get rid of the debts, Fankuai decided to move to the other side of the river. But unfortunately, Liubang received the help of a big turtle which helped him find out Fankuai’s trace. When Fankuai got to know the details, he became angry and killed the big turtle, cooked it with the dog meat. To his surprise, the meat smelt even more delicious and fragrant after the dog meat being boiled thoroughly with the turtle. This dish got its name since then and became a famous dish.
Mutton In Fish Soup
This is one of Liubang’s favorite dishes when he was young. There is a popular doggerel in Fengxian County which says that Liubang born in Fengxian County and it is luck for people there to eat the delicious mutton in dish soup. Although Liubang always battled for the nation, he’d like to come back home to taste the delicious mutton in fish soup.
Fish In Lamb Chunks
This is a famous stewed dish, in which fish is put inside the lamb chunks. They legend tells that Xiding, the youngest son of Pengzu loved fishing very much, but Pengzu didn't allow him to go fishing since it would be dangerous. One day, Xiding came back from fishing and his father went out by chance. He was afraid that his father would blame him for fishing, so he begged his mother to cut the stewing lamb into two parts and hid the fish in it. When Pengzu came back, he was astonished to find that the lamb was extraordinarily delicious. That's the origin of this dish. It is coincident that the Chinese character for “delicious” is a combination of fish and lamb as the left half of this character is the character of fish and the right half is that of lamb.
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