The Sichuan Dining Experience

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There’s nothing quite like it.  The outright assault of flavour sensations that refuse to step back for a moment.  Chongqing hotpot is the hottest, craziest version of Sichuan dining.  It’s an oil and water bath filled with a dastardly combination of spices to create a sensual eating explosion.  The hotpot container itself is set into the middle of a table customised purely for this purpose.  It’s heated by a burner that you can adjust depending how quickly you want to cook food in it.  You then place slices of raw meat and vegetables into this mixture and cook them at your table.  There’s also the option of having a second container that just contains a soup stock to cook some food in to have a break from the main event.A bushfire of flavour sensation

A bushfire of flavour sensation

I can’t wait for the first round of meat to be ready.   Chongqing hotpot is famed is the hottest and when I was aksed how I wanted it, there is only one answer,
“Hot.”
It does actually take my friend a minute to convince them that this crazy Australian needs it hot, but what they bring out looks ridiculous.  As soon as the meat is ready I start savouring each piece covered in the amazing juice.  Bringing each piece into my mouth is an exercise of increasing madness as the fire starts.  At first I’m just backburning around my tongue and throat, clearing the way to slow down the bushfire…to stop it from raging out of control.  I follow vegetables with meat, moving from the chicken to the pork, the beef to an egg…but always I feel the pressure is building.   I start feeling the warmth spreading across my face and a thin layer of moisture springs up in its wake.  A smile begins to grow on my face, the smile of the devotee to riding the heatwave.  But this time, there’s something new.  My lips seem to be humming, quivering in the midst of the growing waves of smell and flavour coming with the onslaught.  After a while it begins to feel like numbness, but it’s not that, quite the reverse, they’re buzzing with an intensity that wont stop and doesn’t want to stay on my lips either.

Slowly and steadily the bushfire consumes my mouth, I glance at my reflection in the window and see my face is glowing red with a sheen of sweat.  But that’s nothing compared to the feral smile I find on my face.  It’s animalistic and comes as no real surprise to me lost in this new layer of eating sensation.  A new foodgasm has found me its willing victim.

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