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The local cuisine in Xuzhou is a blend of many of the flavours of northern and southern China, as a result of the location of Xuzhou. It is known for a number of dishes, including those below, and various dog meat dishes.
Sha soup (𬲱汤)
Sha tang (simplified Chinese: 𬲱汤; traditional Chinese: 湯; pinyin: Shá tāng) is a dish that originated in the city of Xuzhou in Jiangsu Province, but which also has origins in south-eastern Shandong Province. The original version of the soup was made with wild fowl, but the base is now chicken broth, thickened with various grains, and flavored with black pepper.
The name of the soup is attributed to the possibly apocryphal story of the Qianlong Emperor's visit to the city. The emperor asked a man selling soup, "What soup is this?" (Zhè shì shá 啥 tāng?) The soup seller answered, "The emperor spoke correctly, it's '"what" soup'!" (Huángshang shuōdeduì, zhè jiùshì shá tāng). The story continues that the emperor named it the "first soup under heaven" (Chinese: 天下第一羹; pinyin: tiānxia dìyī gēng).
It is commonly served as a breakfast in Xuzhou, most famously at the Horse Market Sha Tang (Mǎshìjiē Shá Tāng) restaurant. Service of the soup usually begins at dawn and ends when the soup is finished, usually around 11:00 or noon. The soup is usually eaten with an egg cracked inside while still hot. It is usually accompanied with traditional Chinese breakfast foods such as you tiao and baozi.
Hot soup (辣汤)
Made of chicken, pig bone, onion, and ginger, the hot soup tastes spicy and fresh. Locals usually have it for breakfast.
Ball soup (丸子汤)
Ball soup is made by mixing radish, starch, the powder of mung beans, and black pepper, and pinching them into balls. The balls are put in hot diluted bone soup, along with garlic, chili oil, sesame oil, and coriander leaves.
Malaowai stewed pork (麻老歪熟菜)
In the late 19th century, Li Fengting (李凤亭) created the brand “Malaowai” for stewed pork from a recipe handed down from older generations of his family. Malaowai was Li’s nickname because he had pockmarks on his face and was halting on his left leg. He first sold his stewed pork at Mashi street.
Feng Tianxing roast chicken (冯天兴烧鸡)
Created by Feng tianxing, the roast chicken, has been enjoyed since the Qianlong era in the Qing dynasty. Feng moved from Nanjing to Xuzhou in the late 18th century. The roast chicken features unique and delicate ingredients and strict cooking procedures. It is easy to chew but not greasy.
Yuan zhi gou rou (鼋汁狗肉)
Yuan zhi gou rou has a dark red color and thick fragrance. When eating it, natives tend to tear it with hands rather than cut it with knife.