Suzhou, December 12 (ZXS) -- "Kissinger's honey formula": Three visits to Suzhou without forgetting

China News Service reporter Zhong Sheng

Winter is getting deeper, and in the Suzhou South Park Hotel, the chefs began to prepare for the winter solstice banquet that Suzhou people attach great importance to. Among the dishes with distinctive Jiangnan characteristics, one dish name is very conspicuous: Kissinger's honey recipe. Why did Suzhou's traditional cuisine bear the name of the late former U.S. Secretary of State?

Among the many meat products, Suzhou people especially prefer ham, and the famous dishes are pickled and fresh, catfish lung soup, and mother oil boat duck are indispensable for the participation of ham. Even in "Mr. Pan in Trouble" written by Ye Shengtao, a native of Suzhou, the boy of the Pan family never forgot a bowl of ham soup and rice in his escape. However, in these dishes, ham is mostly used to enhance flavor and freshness, and in order for ham to take the lead, it has to be honey sauce fire recipe (also known as "honey recipe").

The production of honey fire recipe is meticulously crafted by Suzhou people. The whole dish is sweet and salty, with a long aftertaste. (Photo courtesy of Nanyuan Hotel)

Yuan Mei, a well-known "food writer" in the Qing Dynasty, once recorded a "honey ham" in "Suiyuan Food List" that he never forgot. "Take the ham, cut it into large cubes with the skin, and simmer it in honey wine, it's best... Yu ate once in Yin Wenduangong Suzhou Mansion, and its fragrance came next door, and the sweetness was abnormal. You can't ever encounter this stunner again. "From the point of view of production methods, honey ham is the predecessor of honey sauce fire party.

Zhang Wei, the head chef of Nanyuan Hotel, introduced that the honey recipe has a bright color, a fat but not greasy taste, and a crispy entrance. The meat is only taken from the best "above" part of Jinhua ham and cooked carefully, a bite down, first feel the sweetness, chew carefully, the ham is crispy and fragrant, the aftertaste is salty and fresh, accompanied by fruity aroma, rich in candied taste. The whole dish is sweet and salty, with a long aftertaste.

On December 12, Luo Hao, deputy general manager of Nanyuan Hotel, introduced the story of Kissinger's visit to Suzhou in 1. Photo by China News Service reporter Zhong Sheng

It was not only the gluttony Yuan Mei who was impressed by the honey side, but also Kissinger, who came from afar. Kissinger has dined at the South Park Hotel three times, and each time honey recipes are indispensable.

Luo Hao, deputy general manager of Nanyuan Hotel, told reporters that in November 1974, Kissinger visited Suzhou for the first time. This is the first time in the history of Suzhou to receive high-level American VIPs, in the selection of banquet dishes, after the collective discussion of the famous chefs of Subang cuisine in Nanyuan Hotel, it was decided to use all dishes rich in Suzhou local characteristics. The highlights of the hot dishes include crab roe and shark's fin, pigeon eggs, simmered chicken with yellow mud, roasted duck in a pot and a honey sauce. Among them, Kissinger's chopsticks the most is the honey fire recipe, Suzhou saw that he liked it so much, and specially added a special one, which made Kissinger feast, and the chefs also wrote down this dish that Kissinger loved.

In October 1982, Kissinger and his wife came to Suzhou for the second time and stayed at the Nanyuan Hotel. During the banquet, when Kissinger saw the honey fire on the table, he said excitedly: "Thank you for remembering the dishes I like to eat." After being told by Shen Zhonghui, who was working as a translator, that the honey fire recipe was specially prepared for him, Kissinger asked curiously: "What is the name of this dish?" Shen Zhonghui humorously replied: "Kissinger's honey recipe." ”

Since then, the name of "Kissinger's honey recipe" has begun to spread in Suzhou. In 1994, when Kissinger visited Suzhou for the third time, the honey fire party with the words "Kissinger honey recipe" appeared on the table, becoming a small "easter egg" in the diplomatic interaction between China and the United States. This also made Kissinger surprised and delighted: "Suzhou will always remain in my memory!" ”

In the South Park Hotel, there is still a picture of Kissinger tasting the "Kissinger Honey Recipe", in which Kissinger has his eyes lowered and his expression is thoughtful, as if he is savoring the honey recipe and thinking about the secret recipe for dealing with China. (ENDS)