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Crazy about hotpot

Updated: 2014-02-05 11:46
By Luo Wangshu and Tan Yingzi ( China Daily)

Crazy about hotpot

Spicy hotpot in Chongqing, originated in the 19th century, has enjoyed increasing popularity among diners at home and abroad. Photos Provided to China Daily

It's a cuisine popular all over China, but Chongqing businessman Nie Ganru loves hotpot more than most. He tells Luo Wangshu and Tan Yingzi why he wants to tell the world about his favorite meal.

When Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron visited China in December, in among the appointments on his busy schedule was one that was in stark contrast to the politician's serious meetings and briefings: "Eat spicy hotpot". Cameron is not the only world leader with a taste for the popular cuisine. United States politician Henry Kissinger wrote about eating hotpot with the former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in his memoirs. Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek treated Mao Zedong to spicy hotpot during his historic visit to Chongqing in 1945.

Now all these hotpot stories have been collated and displayed in a museum dedicated to hotpot cuisine. Located in Chongqing, it is the first hotpot museum in the country.

Hotpot is popular in Chongqing. While the soup is simmering over a flame, meat and vegetables are placed into the pot to cook, and diners can pick out the items when they are ready to eat. Chongqing hotpot is famous for its spicy taste.

The hotpot museum, with more than 600 pots and other items on display, opened in December, 2013.

A 37-meter-tall hotpot graces the exterior of the six-story private museum, located in the city's southeast.

On its first floor, the large hotpot-shaped building features modern hotpots, an explanation of what a hotpot is, and displays examples of pots from all over the world, including a paper-pot from Japan and an iron pot from Germany.

The second floor covers the Chongqing hotpot and related art works. It also documents the origins of spicy hotpot.

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