Like its Cantonese counterpart, the culinary offerings from the coastal region of Chaoshan in eastern Guangdong province boast many distinct flavors. Last month, a documentary series highlighting Chaoshan fare arrived on Netflix, shedding light on this Guangdong cuisine lesser-known to Westerners.
Titled Flavorful Origins, the 20-episode documentary series is directed by Chen Xiaoqing, who is acclaimed for helming the popular food documentary series A Bite of China.
Screengrab via QQ
Each episode runs for about 12 minutes, focusing on one dish or ingredient particular to Chaoshan, while introducing its origin and detailing the preparation and cooking method. The film crew does a phenomenal job captivating the audience by using slow-motion and close-up shots of gastronomic glory.
One episode gives viewers an inside look at Chaoshan’s legendary beef hot pot (if you haven’t tried this type of hot pot before, we highly recommend checking out Baheli Haiji Beef on Tiyu Xi Heng Jie). Focusing on a variety of meat cutlets from different parts of the cow, this particular video gives an interesting explanation on why sirloin tends to be a higher priced item than chuck beef.
The documentary is primarily filmed inside people’s home kitchens as well as family-owned restaurants. Chaoshan gourmets, food stand owners, farmers and sauce makers are also featured throughout the series who swear by traditional food crafts. Sophisticated culinary traditions of the region such as 20-year aged white raddish and a 1,000-year-old crab marinating recipe are brought to life by Chen and his crew.
Screengrab via QQ
For those of you living in our fair province of Guangdong, Chaoshan is only a two- to four-hour high-speed train ride away.
[Cover image: screengrab via QQ]